Nevada’s new law banning cell phone use while driving is meeting resistance from drivers whose hands are on their phones instead of the wheel.
Enacted on January 1, the law prohibits the use of a cellular phone while operating a vehicle, but nearly 4,000 drivers have not gotten the message. The Office of Traffic Safety reports 1,645 tickets handed out by the northern command of Nevada Highway Patrol, and Metro has written 2,261 tickets since the law was passed. Fines are handed out for violation: $50 for a first offense, and $250 for repeat offenses.
Since January 1, more than one thousand drivers have been convicted of a first offense, and four have committed second offenses. Authorities cite habit as the likely primary cause for the violations; drivers use their cell phones at stop lights and don’t hesitate to answer them if they ring.
Erin Breen, of Safe Nevada Partnership, has this advice for drivers, “If you can’t drive without using your phone, lock it in your trunk when you get in the vehicle because no message or phone call is worth a life.”