MANILA, Philippines - People who will be caught texting while driving should be penalized, a lawmaker said on Sunday.
Buhay party-list Rep. Erwin Tieng said he wants to propose a law that prohibits drivers from sending text messages while they are behind the wheel.
He said the only way in ensuring the text ban is through law, which will serve as basis for traffic enforcers and police to catch violators.
The Metro Manila Development Authority believes that the ban should not only apply to those who will be caught texting but also on any form of mobile phone activity on the road.
The agency also reported that "inattentiveness" is the second major cause of road mishaps in the country.
Independent studies stated that almost 16,000 cellphone-related accidents were recorded worldwide this year.
Some motorists, however, are opposing the ban. They claim that the measure will violate their rights.
Before the proposal is approved, the government urged motorists to stop their vehicles on the side of the road before accepting calls or text messages to prevent accidents.