In Nevada, it is illegal to use a hand-held cell phone, device or to engage in texting while driving. Hand-held cell phone and texting laws were approved in 2011. The laws began January 1, 2012, to help prevent driving distractions. Texting and the use of cell phones and other hand-held devices were all included in the laws.
Across the nation, distractions cause accidents that result in millions of injuries. In addition, distracted driving caused 3,500 deaths just in the year 2012 alone. Statistics show that drivers who are on the phone are four times more likely to be in an accident. Because of the distraction of talking or texting, Nevada has created these laws making it illegal to use hand-held electronic devices while driving.
Offenses, Fines, and Points
Your first offense will not be a moving violation, and you will need to pay a fine of $50. A second offense in a seven-year period is a moving violation and will result in a fine of $100. You will also receive 4 demerit points against your driver’s license. The third and any subsequent offenses will consist of a $250 fine and 4 demerit points. Fines can double if any violation occurs in a work zone. The courts retain an option to tack on additional administrative fees.
Legal Cell Phone Usage
If you must talk on a cell phone while you are driving, you must use a hands-free headset. In order to be considered as hands-free, you must use an accessory that your cell phone attaches to. The only time you may use your hands during such a communication is to “activate, deactivate or initiate” a necessary function or feature on the device during your communication. It is illegal to engage in texting while driving. Additionally, you are able to use a voice-operated navigation system that is attached to the vehicle. It is not a moving violation if you are using such a device in a vehicle that is autonomously driven by artificial intelligence where it is allowable by law.
Other Exceptions of Usage
There are certain exceptions to this law. These restrictions do not apply to:
- Law enforcement personnel, firefighters, or emergency medical personnel within the scope of employment.
- Someone reporting or requesting assistance in regard to a medical, hazardous, or criminal emergency.
- Public utility workers responding to an emergency while using a device provided by the company.
- Amateur radio operators licensed by the Federal Communications Commission providing information during a disaster or emergency.
- Someone using two-way radio communication who has proper licensing. They also must be using a device where controls, except the microphone, are not in the hand.
How to Limit the Distractions of a Cell Phone
Make your calls before you drive or when you get to your destination. Keep your cell phone put away where you cannot access it while driving. Pull over away from traffic to make necessary calls. You may even be able to install an app to block calls and texts while you are on the road. Always stay focused on the road, and avoid any other activities while behind the wheel. Enlist the help of the passenger for directions or to handle calls. If you know someone is driving, do not call them.
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