City to regulate use of cellphone in the streets

BALON DAGUPAN NEWS

DAGUPAN CITY – An ordinance proposed by Councilor Maybelyn Rose DC. Fernandez regulating the use of cellphone on the streets and highways is set for approval by lthe Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP).

Fernandez said the proposed ordinance seeks to ensure   the safety of pedestrians every time they cross the city’s streets and highways.

She explained that while the city recognizes the essential role of cellphone in the lives of every Dagupeño, texting and reading on a cellphone while crossing a street or highway can be almost as dangerous as using a phone while driving.

“For not only are pedestrians taking their eyes off their surroundings and therefore less able to react, they are also more likely to ignore oncoming traffic and to walk more slowly than if they were not trying to multitask,” said Councilor Fernandez.

Councilor Fernandez has observed that pedestrians in the city are so concentrated on their cellphones but blind to their external environment as they cross a street or highway.

“While so much attention has been paid to distract driving, distracted walking has not received similar policies and effective interventions as to improve pedestrian safety,” she added.

When approved, the law shall be known as the “Distracted Walking Ordinance”, which aims to discourage pedestrians of viewing their cellphone while crossing a street or highway in the city except those listening to music on a cellphone; for those talking on a cellphone, provided that he is not looking down at the device while doing so; and emergency responder viewing a cellphone while in the performance and scope of his official duties.

The Public Order and Safety Office (POSO) has been mandated under the ordinance to implement this with corresponding penalty on violators.  If the violation is committed by a minor, the applicable penalty shall be imposed upon his parents or guardian. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO)