Distracted driving is a serious safety issue in Henderson, Nevada and throughout the state. Driving while distracted causes more than 3,500 accidents every year on Nevada's roads and highways according to the Nevada Department of Transportation and Nevada Department of Public Safety.
Most of the attention on distracted driving, and the focus of Nevada's distracted driving law, is on the use of cell phones or other electronic devices while behind the wheel. But distracted driving actually includes a number of other activities, including:
- eating and drinking
- watching video
- adjusting the radio or other music player
- talking with other passengers
There is no question that cell phones have become the primary concern of law enforcement and public safety officials when it comes down to preventing or reducing distracted driving in Nevada.
That is why on January 1, 2012, Nevada joined an ever-growing number of states in making it a crime for drivers to touch or have in their hands a cell phone or other electronic device while driving in Nevada. This includes talking, texting, e-mailing, or operating a GPS device in anything other than a hands-free manner.
What is Prohibited While Driving in Henderson
Nevada's distracted driving law, NRS 484B.165, makes it a crime for drivers to do any of the following while driving:
- Physically handling a cell phone or other electronic device, including talking, texting or accessing the Internet
- Using an electronic, handheld device at a stoplight
- Picking up a GPS device or programming information into the device
- Playing music on a device if it requires the device to be in the driver's hand at any time
What is NOT a Distracted Violation in Henderson
NRS 484B.165 sets forth a number of specific acts and situations that are excluded from the distracted driving statute. Specifically, using a cell-phone or other hand-held electronic device while driving is not a violation of NRS 484B.165 if:
- the driver is using the device or in-car system through voice command
- the driver is using a voice-operated GPS or navigation system that is affixed to the vehicle
- the driver is reporting or requesting assistance relating to a medical emergency, a safety hazard or criminal activity
- the driver is responding to a situation requiring immediate action to protect the health, welfare or safety of the driver or another person and stopping the vehicle would be inadvisable, impractical or dangerous
- the driver is a law enforcement officer, firefighter or emergency medical personnel acting within the scope of their duties
Penalties for Violating Nevada's Distracted Driving Law
A violation of the state's distracted driving law is a misdemeanor in Nevada. You'll receive a $50.00 fine for your first offense in seven years, but it will not be treated as a moving violation. A second offense will cost you $100 and third and subsequent offense will cost you $250 as well as a six-month driver's license suspension.
If you get caught using your cell phone or other device in a prohibited way while driving in a work zone, those fines could be doubled.
There are defenses to distracted driving charges that a skilled Henderson, Nevada criminal defense attorney can assert if you've been cited for using your cell phone behind the wheel. Call us today for a free consultation to discuss your situation.