It seems perfectly harmless. You are running late for a meeting and you want to make a quick call to let them know you’re on the way. Or perhaps you want to send a quick text to your teenager.
While it seems like you aren’t doing anything particularly wrong, the reality is that you could easily end up injured in a car accident because your attention isn’t on the road. And, even if you don’t use your cell phone while driving, you how would you feel if someone else caused an accident because of their preoccupation?
Recent research indicates that cell phone use while driving might be as dangerous as driving drunk. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that many states are cracking down and making laws related to cell phone use while driving. Nevada is one of those states.
Can You Use a Cell Phone While Driving in Nevada?
Nevada’s law regarding cell phone use went into effect January 1, 2012. It’s important to understand the law, and how you can use cell phones while driving in a car. Here are some of the things you need to know about Nevada’s cell phone law:
Fines: As with most traffic laws, this one comes with fines. You are subject to a fine of $50 for the first offense within seven years. If you are caught a second time, you will be subject to a $100 fine. The third offense in seven years, and beyond, carries a $250 fine. As with most traffic fines, if you break this law in a work zone, the amount you pay can be doubled.
Moving violation: Even though there is a fine for the first offense, it is not treated as a moving violation in Nevada. You won’t receive demerit points, and your insurance shouldn’t be affected. If you have a second violation (or more) in a seven year period, it will be treated as a moving violation, and demerit points will be applied to your license and your insurance policy might be affected.
Using your cell phone: Just because you can’t talk using a handheld device, or text, while driving, it doesn’t mean that cell phones are completely off limits. You are allowed to talk on a cell phone if you use a hands-free headset, and you can touch the phone if you need to activate your voice call. But you can’t be holding the phone in your hand for the entire conversation.
Exceptions: All laws come with exceptions, and Nevada’s includes some provision for for certain events. Those reporting medical emergencies, safety issues, and criminal activity can make calls from their handheld devices. It’s also possible for emergency responders, law enforcement officers, and firefighters to use handheld devices within the scope of their work duties. Likewise, utility workers can use company-issued handheld devices as they respond to emergencies or outages.
Radio operators: If you are using a citizen band or two-way radio, it’s possible to operate it while driving. However, you need to have the proper license, and there needs to be a separate handheld microphone involved. Amateur radio operators offering their communication services during an emergency or some disaster are also exempt from the law.
Understanding the basics of Nevada’s cell phone traffic laws are important. With statistics showing that cell phone use — especially texting and surfing the Internet while driving — contributes to car accidents, it is clear that we all need to work to make our roads safer. Get a hands-free cell phone headset, or wait until you can pull over to talk or text with your cell phone.
The preceeding is not legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney–client relationship.