By Rommel F. Lopez

Lungsod ng Dabaw official seal | FILE PHOTO

DAVAO CITY – First it was jackets.  Now it is gadgets.

A bill banning the use of cellphones and other similar gadgets by pedestrians while crossing the streets to ensure the safety of both the pedestrian and motorists has been filed in the city council.

Neophyte Davao City councilor, Jonard Dayap, filed a bill penalizing pedestrians wearing headphones and using their cellphones and other similar gadgets while crossing the streets.   Dayap admitted that a similar ordinance from Baguio City, the Anti-Distracted Walking Ordinance of 2018, inspired him to file the proposed ordinance.

Davao City Police Office director, Police Col. Alexander Tagum, is backing the proposal. He said the new policy will help minimize road accidents involving pedestrians.

“It’s about time (to pass such ordinance) for the safety of local motorists and pedestrians. It makes sense and therefore, in my personal opinion, is highly necessary,” Tagum said.

The Baguio City ordinance prohibits and regulates the use of mobile devices and other distractive devices while crossing the streets and walking on sidewalks.  It will also prohibit pedestrians from skimming any reading material while on the road.  The ordinance deputizes even Barangay tanos and enforces to apprehend any potential violator.   The ordinance does not penalize first time offenders.  However, P1,000 will be slapped on second-time violators, P2,000 third time offenders, and P2,500 with community service or imprisonment of 11-30 days for the fourth and succeeding offenses.