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October 21, 2014

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Police remind drivers that cellphone ban is on the way

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Christopher DeVargas

Eyes on the Road,” the campaign that kicks off a new law that bans the use of a handheld electronic device while driving, is unveiled Friday, Sept. 23, 2011. The law takes effect Oct. 1, 2011.

Law banning use of handheld cell phones while driving about to take effect

KSNV coverage of new law that bans use of handheld cell phones while driving, Sept. 23, 2011.

Eyes On The Road

Nevada Senator Shirley Breeden makes a few remarks during the kick off a new law that bans the use of a hand held electronic device while driving Friday, Sept. 23, 2011. The law takes effect October 1, 2011. Launch slideshow »

SB 140 (Cell Phones and Driving)

LOL. OMG. RIP.

Officials are using signs with that message in hopes of getting their point across to all ages: Not only is talking or texting with a cellphone while driving dangerous, it will soon be illegal.

Politicians behind the ban joined with law enforcement and driving safety advocates today for a news conference to remind drivers of the new law, which takes effect Oct. 1.

After that, officers will aggressively pull over motorists who are talking or texting with handheld phones, but they’ll be issuing warnings until Jan. 1, when they will begin issuing misdemeanor fines of $50.

A first offense will not be treated as a moving traffic violation, but a second offense in a seven-year period carries a $100 fine plus points on the driver’s record and the third and subsequent offenses would result in $250 fines. Those convicted of a third offense in a seven-year period will have their driver’s license suspended for six months.

Nevada Highway Patrol Sgt. Kevin Honea said troopers and police officers would be happy if the warning period is enough to stop people from using their phones.

“Ideally we’d get to everybody and in a perfect world come Jan. 1, we never have to write this citation,” he said. “That would mean we got the message to everybody and everybody understood it.”

That’s not likely to happen, he acknowledged, and officers will be watching closely to enforce the law, he said.

Those responsible for the law hope the citations will encourage people to be safe.

State Sen. Shirley Breeden, D-Henderson, sponsor of the bill that became law, said she knows not everyone will follow the rules, but she hopes the financial consequences in bad economic times will encourage obedience.

“It hits them in the pocketbook,” she said.

State Sen. Mark Manendo, D-Las Vegas, had similar ideas: “There are only certain things that really get people’s attention,” he said. “I don’t think many things work better than hitting their pocketbook and putting points on their license.”

Manendo said this is the most important public safety bill he’s seen in 18 years in the Legislature.

“No bill has more of a significant impact on the day-to-day lives of people in Nevada than this bill,” he said.

Others at today’s event sought to encourage participation through the heartstrings.

Brian LaVoie gave a tearful account of the last time he saw his 18-year-old daughter, Hillary, one year ago. Hillary wasn’t wearing a seat belt when the driver of the car she was in lost control while talking on the phone.

“I come here not for your sympathy, not for your tears and not for the sadness,” LaVoie said. “I come here to educate you and to prevent you from belonging to the club that … no one wants to belong to, the club that my wife Tina and I belong to. We have lost our child.”

Now, the memory of his daughter and the desire to warn others is what gets him out of bed in the morning despite his grief, he said.

“Please, put down your cellphone, do not text and always wear your seat belt.”

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  1. What if I put my phone on speaker and hold it a short distance from my head?

  2. I drive a lot, and constantly see people on cell phones. The amount of accidents directly related to cell phone use is minimal compared to the amount of times they are used while driving. This is government control and a money maker for the government. They get away with it because of scare tactics. It's for safety. It's all bs. This law is dumb. I feel bad for people that are hurt or injured because they got into an accident where someone was using a cell-phone, but that's life. If it happened to someone I loved, I would be hurt. However, not everyone should be punished because of the few that mess up. It's all about money and controll from the government. You want to be totally safe? Live in a bubble

  3. You can tell drivers have absolutely no fear of getting caught or desire to change their behavior. I see it constantly through out my day. This article states warning tickets will start to be issued Oct 1st, but I know I saw TV news stating warnings were to start last July. It can't start too soon in my opinion. I hope this is a law that will be enforced. Yesterday I even saw a guy driving the wrong way down a street in the Alliante area. When someone got him to stop, he acted as if everyone else was in the wrong. To bad a cop wasn't around to at least give him a ticket for failure to keep right and hazardous driving. These people have no clue how dangerous it is to text while driving.

  4. "Manendo said this is the most important public safety bill he's seen in 18 years in the Legislature."

    Read this, People -- they made it a misdemeanor. As in it's an actual crime, something you can go to jail for, and creates a criminal record. Funny how the reporter missed the significance of that little detail.

    Anyone else care to speculate that's what was REALLY behind that group of local judges who just upped bail for a simple misdemeanor to $1,000?? That's also in today's lasvegassun.com/news/2011/sep/23/las-vegas-court-raises-bail-amounts-crimes/

    Anyone out there still think it's not about the money??

    "[The law] has placed the collective force in the service of those who wish to traffic, without risk, and without scruple, in the persons, the liberty, and the property of others; it has converted plunder into a right, that it may protect it, and lawful defense into a crime, that it may punish it." -- Frederic Bastiat, 1850 "The Law"

  5. Friend of mine calls today to ask for help. Seems he was TEXTING while driving his boat on Lake Mead.

    His boat is now 20 feet up on the shore in a remote area of the lake.

    It going to cost him $3500 to get it salvaged plus the repairs to the boat.

    Driving cars or boats and texting is expensive.

    Good thing he is still alive though.

  6. STOP THE PRESSES, mred said something I actually agree with!

    Now I know it's going to be a good weekend!

  7. Utter waste of time and legislation. This law is nothing but an appeasement to nanny-staters. The law already exists; it's called "drvmg while distracted." the only difference? There is "evidence" that someone was on their phone, but no evidence other than hearsay that someone was shaving, applying makeup, reading, taking notes, eating, singing, arguing, changing the radio station, having sex, or whatever else people do instead of driving.

    Lame. It will change nothing.

  8. I'm with Tom on this. The fines are way too low.

  9. "Utter waste of time and legislation. This law is nothing but an appeasement to nanny-staters. The law already exists; it's called "drvmg [sic] while distracted." ..... Lame. It will change nothing."

    James_P -- excellent post, and part of the public debate since the beginning on this topic. Next will come the iPod law, then the "driving while drinking your [insert favorite non-alcoholic beverage here]" law -- then the state will propose to outlaw all drivethroughs, and not just Starbucks. Then on down the list for every busybody crying to the legislature about what they saw other drivers doing -- adjusting stereos/GPS/whatever's on your dashboard, putting on makeup, reading, dealing with kids and pets on their laps. All of it handled with the simple law already on the books about driving while distracted.

    The threshold inquiry for every citizen should be at what point should the state get a legitimate interest in a driver's actions. And that's a Constitutional question.

    "...police dont need a search warrant to download your electronic device. welcome to amerika."

    dipstick -- you're making sense lately, that's scary. Especially the part about Amerika.

    "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)

  10. Well-connected and well-financed insurance industry lobbyists have won this battle, and the Essential Liberty of the People will suffer yet another setback. Welcome to crony statism, my friends.

  11. Bimmerdude,

    You say that this big goverent is not behind this, you are wrong. Government is the one who proposed this. Have not seen the expansion of government and loss freedoms of Americans over the years? Maybe that's because you have been paid by them the over 10 years according to your older posts. Your accounts of all these mishaps with cells phones and other drivers, I call bs. How can u have a recommend button next to your posts, when u only have 6 and are not a trusted commentor? Why do most trusted commentors not have One. That seems fishy. Wonder why

  12. James_P_Reza- great post