DAGUPAN CITY – An ordinance drafted by Councilor Maybelyn Rose DC. Fernandez seeking to regulate the use of cellphone by a pedestrian along the streets and highways is up for consideration in the city council.

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

She said  that while the city recognizes the essential role of cellphones in the lives of every Dagupeño, texting and reading messages 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.

Fernandez observed that some 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 by the SP, this shall be known as the “Distracted Walking Ordinance”, which aims to discourage pedestrians from viewing their cellphones 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 or her official duties.

The Public Order and Safety Office (POSO) has been directed to implement the ordinance with corresponding penalty on violators.

Under the proposed ordinance, if the violation is committed by a minor, the applicable penalty shall be imposed upon his parents or guardian. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO/Oct. 6, 2017)