‘Distracted walking’ punishable with community work in Baguio


BAGUIO CITY – Persons using mobile phones and other devices found distracting the flow of pedestrians here will have to serve 10 days of community service.
In a phone interview Tuesday night, Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan said the City Council recently amended the 2019 ordinance on distracted walking removing the PHP2,500 fines and instead impose a 10-day community service for violators.
First-time offenders will be reprimanded, and the community work will only be meted out for repeat offenders.
In 2019, the City Council approved Ordinance 49 which prohibited and regulated the use of mobile devices and or other devices while walking, and crossing the streets and sidewalks in the city.
The ordinance intended to prevent accidents such as being bumped by a vehicle or another person or the person using the device distracting other people who are walking.
“We have to be cautious and concentrate and be aware of our surroundings when we are walking. It is for our good and that of the other people,” Olowan said.
He said the penalty was lowered following a public consultation last February with suggestions from the public using the official social media account of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.
The amended ordinance, however, exempts an individual who is in a stationary position and goes to the side of the sidewalk and does not obstruct the flow of people.**(PNA


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