There’s been a major war on texting and driving and for good reason. Different states are in different stages of legislation surrounding this issue. If you’re a Nevada driver, especially if you or your child are just hitting the road for the first time, you’ll want to be keen on all the laws.
As of 2012, You Can’t Use a Handheld Cell Phone While Driving
According to the Nevada Department of Transportation, distracted driving was the sole reason behind 3,500 deaths and half-a-million auto accidents in the United States during 2012, even after this law was put into effect. Popular hands-free phone stands can be mounted in your car, allowing you to utilize voice-to-text features, ultimately replying to messages without having to even look at your phone.
It’s Still an Issue
Laws go into effect, and the public becomes aware of what they can and cannot do. That being said, it isn’t until proper enforcement of said laws that drivers really begin to think of the consequences and apply best practices when driving. Being pulled over for texting and driving, or using a handheld phone or device (this includes tablets) can land you up to a $250.00 fine immediately. Repeated offenses can result in higher penalties.
Can I Use My GPS System?
If you’re using your mounted, non-handheld GPS system to navigate, you are still completely okay to use it. That being said, use your judgment, and don’t input new directions or use your GPS device for long. Although it’s not illegal, it’s still improper practice to use anything besides the steering wheel while you’re driving. It all adds to distracted driving and national averages of injuries.
Exceptions to the Rule
In some instances, it can be completely valid to use your handheld cell phone to make a phone call. This has to be proven to police who may stop you. If you’re dialing the phone for one of these reasons, you may be exempt from a fine or violation.
- Reporting an Emergency: If you’re behind the wheel on any road, including highways, and you spot something that merits calling emergency services, you are protected. Car wrecks that don’t have any emergency services currently surrounding them, wildfires, and downed power lines (call your local utility company for this) are all valid.
- Utility Employees: If you work for a utility company and you’re currently working on or responding to your cell phone on a job, you’re still operating your cell phone illegally. If you are responding to a disaster or emergency call from your employer, you are within your rights to use your handheld device.
- Emergency Personnel: If you work for emergency services in any way, and you are responding to disasters or using your cell phone to communicate critical information regarding disasters or potentially hazardous issues to your superiors and/or colleagues, you are protected in using your cell phone while driving.
Ultimately, these laws and regulations are put in place for public safety. When enough data stacks up regarding distracted driving, lawmakers take action. Stay proactive about texting and driving laws in Nevada, and you’ll be able to avoid fines and other issues.