Jan 12 2012
Nevada’s New Ban on Any Cell Phone Use While Driving
On January 1, 2012, a new law on cell phone use in Nevada was passed, prohibiting motorists from texting, accessing the Internet, and any handheld cell phone use while behind the wheel. Hands-free headsets are still okay to use as well as making voice calls and touching the phone to activate or deactivate it.
Fines in Nevada
In Mesquite, Nevada, fines for the first offense equals $97, $182 for the second offense, and $342 for the third offense.
The Law in Utah
Motorists in Utah can talk on their cellphones but cannot text message. The first offense in Utah equals $310.
In the past, legislators have discussed banning cell phone use period. Representative Bradley Last stated that he would like to see the data of handheld cell phone use vs. hands-free cell phone use before voting on that decision. “Data is starting to show that texting while driving is equivalent to driving under the influence,” Last explained.
Believe it or not, a University of Utah study showed that texting while driving nearly doubled the impairment level as that of driving under the influence. That was probably a huge factor of Utah’s texting ban.
The text messaging law in Utah passed in 2009. These Utah cell phone use and texting while driving laws were considered one of the harshest laws in the U.S. According to Zero Fatalities, a state program that combats distracted driving, motorists in Utah could possibly face 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if they killed someone while texting behind the wheel.
Many people don’t know this, but drivers in Utah can also be cited for careless driving if they commit a traffic violation while talking on their cell phones.
Will Utah Follow Nevada?
Senator Stephen Urquhard said that “Manipulating keys takes much more concentration.” He later stated, “I’m driving now and talking. If you were sitting next to me I’d be talking to you. What’s the difference?”
Representative Evan Vickers agrees with the ban on texting while driving but also said that he wouldn’t agree with putting a ban on simply talking on the phone. Vickers says that “So much business is conducted while driving. You can’t really legislate that.”
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