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August 1, 2014

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state legislature:

Assembly OKs bill to ban cell phone use while driving

Sun Coverage

CARSON CITY – The Assembly on Monday approved a bill that would ban a motorist from using a cell phone or texting while driving.

The vote was 24-17 on Senate Bill 140, which now returns to the Senate for approval of a minor amendment. There was no debate on the measure.

The bill would allow a driver to use a cell phone attached to the vehicle, which would permit a motorist to keep both hands on the wheel.

There are a number of exemptions in the measure. Emergency and law enforcement officers would be permitted to use a cell phone while on duty. Motorists also would be allowed to use a cell phone to report or request assistance for a medical emergency, a safety hazard or criminal activity.

It would become effective July 1, but law enforcement officials could only give a warning to a driver caught using a cell phone through the end of this year.

Beginning in 2012, a motorist could be cited for a misdemeanor and fined $50 on the first offense; $100 on the second offense and $250 for the third and subsequent violations. The driver's license could be suspended for six months on the third or later violations.

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  1. It's about time!

  2. A case of government having to control people, because people refuse to control/act appropriate themselves. Good Grief!

    More government again, instead of less. ugh.

  3. scarlet11 states: "Studies have proven that eating while driving is the #1 cause of accidents."

    Please, show me this study. Betting you can't.

    I hate government intrusion into our lives but Americans have become so disrespectful of others and lack personal responsibility that the government does step in. Is it right, no, but it is the American public doing this to ourselves.

    Time to take responsibility for our own actions and then the government could do what they need to do instead of protecting us from our own stupid actions.

  4. For all of you that are against a cell phone law I sure hope that the person who is distracted by talking on the cell phone/texting while driving hits your vehicle or one of your family members and not me or one of my family members. Sounds cruel but that is just the way it should be.

  5. @ Phil_Waste: I like your solution.

  6. If someone is driving safely but happens to have a cell phone in their hand, they are now breaking the law. Even at a stop light. Even pulled over on the side of the road? And what constitutes an "emergency." This ill-conceived law is another attempt to placate those who think that magically all crime will go away if you fine the common man before a crime occurs. It doesn't. It raises revenue for the city. It ties up police time. It gives the police a new justification for pulling over an individual and intruding into their lives. But there are no statistics that show that "cell relate" accidents drop after a law like this is imposed. Bad driving already is unlawful. This feel good measure has consequences beyond your hope that a law in place will magically stop a bad driver from being bad.

  7. Reckless driving is already a crime. We don't need a redundant law that would only wind up penalizing those who are not a danger in the first place. If you're concerned, ask police to step up enforcement of reckless driving laws.

    If you're driving recklessly, whether by texting, putting on make up, eating fast food or arguing with your kids in the back seat, you can be cited.

  8. If they really want to stop the activity, they should confiscate and sell the offender's car. This is another law that will be enforced randomly, selectively, and in spots. Even a $250 fine is a slap on the wrist, and my guess is that fewer than 5% of all offenders will ever be pulled over. Now, maybe if cops monitored cell towers to see whether someone was traveling faster than 10 MPH while using one....

  9. I would write a long diatribe against this law but I am on I-15 texting right now and have to get in the right lane for my exit.

  10. A person on a phone has the same reaction time as a tipsy drunk. And that does not even touch distraction issues.

    I have lost track of the close calls I have had because of people talking on the phone while they drive -- people suddenly slowing down on the interstate, weaving into other lanes, running stop signs.

    Years ago, I witnessed one wreck in a Target parking lot caused by a lady talking on her cell phone -- she got out of her car and continued her phone conversation a couple of minutes before talking with the other driver.

    A strange sight.

  11. Most of you commenters are not well...talking on a cell phone while driving is going to be a crime?...and most of you think it is great!...I am totally dumbfounded about what all y'all will allow other people to do to you...amazing...you keep asking for more control of your lives and you keep getting it...another amazingly short-sighted law on the books...

  12. Most of our phones have blue tooth so you can use your phone hands free. I am confused where the requirement to have the phone fixed to the vehicle is concerned. What do you have to do, bolt it to the dash board? Phones also have speakers so you can set the phone on the console and talk. Gotta see what the bill reads.

  13. Chunky says:

    He hates additional laws that "govern" what would be common sense!

    However, having been the recipient of a rear end hit by a driver on a cell phone and seeing so many people driving distracted it's obvious something needs to be done about it.

    That's what Chunky thinks!

  14. "I have lost track of the close calls I have had because of people talking on the phone while they drive -- people suddenly slowing down on the interstate, weaving into other lanes, running stop signs."

    WoodySez1 -- the exact same thing can be said for drivers with dogs on their laps (encountered that over the weekend, I though the guy was drunk but he had three dogs crawling all over him trying to stick their heads out the driver's window), kids in the car, eating, trying to be sure your coffee doesn't spill, fiddling with the stereo or GPS or adjusting whatever else on the dash, actually reading a newspaper, putting on makeup ... the list is endless.

    Are we going to wait for the legislature to make the same laws for all these, too? Better to just call them back to common sense as timf343 posted.

    Why are on-duty "Emergency and law enforcement officers" exempted? Is Vegas different and not provide radios for them to use?

    Same old BS from this legislature that seems to not be able to fix the budget by any lawful means, but again by penalizing more lawful behavior and creating more crimes out of whole cloth. So how much did they waste of time and money session cost just to make Nevada more of a police state??

    "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." -- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Isaac H Tiffany (1819)

  15. I've seen most of these comments against this law when they implemented it in California but it was proven that it saved a lot of lives. It worked in California and I'm pretty sure it will work here in Nevada. There are so many inconsiderate drivers here driving dangerously while driving and talking on their cellphones. If we don't want to get a ticket, get bluetooth device, let the message go to our voicemail, or safely park our car before using our cellphone.

  16. @ MSHI: Never wished harm on anyone. Only hope that anyone that does get hit is one that does not support a no cell phone/texting law.

  17. Why not just increase the penalties if the actual CAUSE of an accident is the cell phone usage? As other have mentioned, there are a host of distraction in ones car. The one where we get and give information that we may think is important should not be singled out. Funny, how the one distraction no one mentions is smoking in the car. The looking for cigarette, lighting it, ashing, etc. All very bad for good driving. Look for smoking while driving next by the "health mafia" since this one passed with little friction. The companion bill will be elevating smoking when there is a child in the car to child abuse. I'm sure some reading this think its a good idea. Yes, if only through laws we could make a perfect society...where no one can make a mistake, where everything is rainbows all the time. But like any totalitarian society, there is a downside. Orwell and Kafka loved these upside down rules that state they are going to do one thing, but have an oppressive impact on the freedom of the whole society. Bottom line, if I mess up in my car because I was using my cell phone, I will be punished. If you're that worried about potential risks, make getting a license harder.

  18. "Orwell and Kafka loved these upside down rules that state they are going to do one thing, but have an oppressive impact on the freedom of the whole society."

    40_years_in_Vegas -- more Orwell than Kafka, and your post is referring to 1984's "doublespeak." Like the Ministry of Truth for propaganda, the Ministry of Love for torture, &c. All of it quite applicable today. I recommend the last "1984" with John Hurt and Richard Burton leading a fine cast. Chilling how it's all coming to pass now.

    "Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power." -- Eric Blair, aka George Orwell

  19. What a waste of time. The law already exists; it's called "driving while distracted." Nevada is kowtowing to the nanny state whiners who rushed here in the last twenty years. Pathetic and embarrassing to the legacy of our state.

  20. Mr Larry Kaplan: I was rear-ended by an impaired driver doing 50MPH while I was stopped.

    Guess what? There is a law against drunk driving.

    No more laws, thanks.

  21. People, we obviously are not capable of making safe decisions in our own lives. Thank goodness we have a government that protects us from ourselves.

  22. "I got hit by a drunk goin' 50; and I was at a dead stop...and, well, the LAW didn't stop him!"

    So, we should not make laws pertaining to Public Safety, because "the laws don't stop things from happening"???

    What kind of special "Nevader Logic" is this now?

  23. STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT THIS BILL AND DO SOMETHING! I'm so sick of Nevadans who cry about "losing their rights" or whine about the "nanny state". You are all making excuses to justify doing nothing. Read the article again. This bill is going to the Senate. Call them at 1-800-978-2878 and tell them to kill it if you think its so bad. Or you can make up another excuse to do nothing.

  24. If there is a law created banning something that everyone agrees should be illegal, then how exactly is that government intrusion? People have no common sense, so at least the state coffers can benefit. This will be another tax on the stupid and Im very much in favor (not deluded enough to think it will stop people from the act, as who can wait twenty minutes without looking at their phone?)

  25. Hi William,
    Thanks for the phone number. I have called in support of Senate Bill 140.

  26. Why? The results of cell phone use are the same as the results of any other distracted driving. Don't we already have a distracted driving law? People using their cells slow down causing traffic jams, make unsafe lane changes, slam on their brakes indiscriminately, drive off the road, crash... all done by people dropping their hamburgers into their laps, spilling their sodas, putting on make-up... all the same. We didn't need another law - just having the laws we already have enforced. Distracted driving is distracted driving, period. BTW - I don't use mine while driving.

  27. Just Increase the speed limits. In Europe when you are traveling 120 MPH+ you are distracted ZERO. 70MPH on a freeway straight visibility for 10 Miles at six lanes is just ridiculous.
    In Las Vegas we are more interested in the Revenue the Police can create from Speeding Tickets. Look at www.speedtrap.org

  28. They should have passed this bill ages ago, about friggin time!

  29. It seems some believe driving up another's arse while dialing or texting is a right they should keep?

    If that's the case, and I'm rear ended, then I have the right to blow their brains out for being stupid.

  30. mschaffer,

    I don't care if you call in support or against. I'm just tired of the people who write about the "nanny state" and other terms from a century ago and do nothing. I guarantee that you were one of the very few who even called the number. So many would just rather complain and do nothing.

  31. I hope this isn't another traffic law that goes without enforcement. With the fine being so small, officers are more likely to use it as an add on to another violation or in response after an accident. Similar to seatbelt enforcement. A simple speeding ticket brings in more cash for the city.

  32. Please remember having a drivers licence is a privilage NOT A RIGHT!!! You have to pass test to get one and if you abuse it you get fined or lose your licence. How many more useless accidents have to happen and everyone's car insurance keeps going up because of this and has to happen before people follow the rules of the road. This law has nothing to do with taking your rights away "you never had the right to start with". Grow up and be responsible!!!