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The Anti-Distracted Walking Ordinance in Baguio City

In an era marked by rampant mobile device use and an increasingly fast-paced lifestyle, pedestrian safety has become a paramount concern for cities globally. The City of Baguio, well-known for its verdant landscapes and crisp climate, has taken a progressive step in promoting pedestrian safety through the introduction of the Anti-Distracted Walking Ordinance.

Background of the Anti-Distracted Walking Ordinance

Implemented as Ordinance Number 49 Series of 2018, the regulation addresses the rampant use of mobile devices and other distracting items by individuals while walking or crossing the streets and sidewalks within Baguio City. This ordinance reflects the city’s commitment to ensuring the well-being of everyone—whether they are residents or visitors.

What Does The Anti-Distracted Walking Ordinance Entail?

The main prohibitions under this ordinance are:

  1. Mobile Device Usage: It is illegal to use a mobile device for texting or reading texts while crossing streets, pedestrian lanes, or even when walking on sidewalks, especially if such activities impede the mobility of other pedestrians.
  2. Reading Materials: Walking while engrossed in any form of reading material, be it a book, magazine, or paper, during crossings or on sidewalks is also prohibited.

What Are The Consequences and Penalties?

Violators should be aware of the ascending scale of penalties, which are:

  • 1st Offense: A warning or reprimand by the authorized officer.
  • 2nd Offense: A fine of PHP 1,000 or an alternative penalty of community service.
  • 3rd Offense: A heavier fine of PHP 2,000 combined with mandatory community service, or imprisonment ranging from 1 to 10 days.
  • 4th Offense and Beyond: A fine of PHP 2,500, along with community service or an extended imprisonment period ranging from 11 to 30 days.

Who Enforces This Ordinance?

The responsibility for the ordinance’s enforcement is vested in several agencies:

  • The Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) of the Mayor’s Office
  • Baguio City Police Office (BCPO)
  • Baguio Traffic Management Unit (TMU)
  • Barangay Tanods
  • Other designated enforcers

These agencies and officers are advised to approach potential violators with patience, diligence, and utmost tolerance. This suggests that the primary goal of the ordinance is not merely penalization but also education and the promotion of public safety.

Related Topic: King Of The Road Ordinance

In Conclusion

The Anti-Distracted Walking Ordinance highlights the City of Baguio’s proactive stance in fostering a safe environment for pedestrians. It is essential to remember that collective safety often requires individual responsibility. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor, always be mindful of your surroundings, especially when walking the scenic streets of Baguio City.

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