Is Talking On The Phone While Driving Considered Distracted Driving In Nevada? Can Police Pull You Over?
With this in mind, Nevada lawmakers have passed strong regulations barring texting while driving. Additionally, state law also requires drivers to use hands-free devices when talking on the phone while driving. In this article, our Las Vegas auto accident lawyers explain the most important things to know about cell phone use and Nevada’s distracted driving laws.
Cell Phone and Driving Laws: Nevada is a ‘Hands-Free’ Communication State
Nevada’s cell phone and driving law was passed in 2011 and officially took effect in 2012. The bill signed by then-governor Brian Sandoval created Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) § 484B.165. Here are the key things to know about what is barred by the law:
- It is unlawful to use a “handheld wireless communications device to type or enter text, send or read data” while behind the wheel; and
- It is unlawful to “engage in voice communications without use of hands-free device” while driving.
In other words, Nevada is a hands-free cell phone state. With very limited exceptions—such as a for an emergency situation—you cannot have your cell phone in your hands when driving. You cannot send or read text messages or other data. You can talk on the phone, but you must have a hands-free device installed in your vehicle.
What are the Penalties for Violating Nevada’s Cell Phone Distracted Driving Laws?
Under NRS § 484B.165, there is a system of graduated penalties for violations of Nevada’s cell phone laws. Essentially, this means that a person will face increased penalties if they are found guilty of multiple offenses. Any driver who violates the law is guilty of a misdemeanor offense. They will face the following financial penalties:
- First Offense: $50 fine.
- Second Offense: $100 fine.
- Three or More Offenses: $250 fine.
All fines are automatically doubled if the violation occurred in a school zone or a work zone. These are specialized safety areas. Drivers are expected to take additional precautions. Notably, the offenses will “roll off” a person’s record after eight years. If a driver was cited for a texting and driving violation nine years ago, any subsequent offenses will be considered a “first offense” against.
Texting while Driving/Non-Hands-Free Cell Phone Use Can Lead to a Criminal Charge
Nevada law is clear: Drivers must refrain from having their cell phone in their hands while behind the wheel. A driver who violates this law and commits other violations could face very serious criminal charges. For example, a driver who causes a serious accident due to texting and driving could potentially be arrested for reckless driving. Our state defines reckless driving as “willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.” The penalties associated with a reckless driving charge are more severe than those that come with a texting and driving ticket.
The Police Can Pull You Over: Primary Enforcement is Used in Nevada
Many people have questions about whether or not they can lawfully be stopped by the police for talking on a cell phone in Nevada. The answer is an unequivocal ‘yes’—Nevada uses something called ‘primary enforcement’ for distracted driving offenses.
With primary enforcement, a police officer can pull you over and issue you a citation if they see you violating the law. No other reason is needed. It does not matter that a driver claims they were paying full attention to the road or that they were not committing any other traffic violations.
If a Las Vegas police officer observes a person texting while driving or talking on a non-hands-free cell phone while driving, they can immediately pull that person over and issue them a traffic citation.
Distracted Driving is Negligent Driving—Civil Liability for a Crash
All motorists owe a general duty of care to their passengers, other drivers, and anyone else on or near the road. When drivers violate their duty of care—by texting and driving, talking on a non-hands-free cell phone while driving, etc.—they are negligent. A driver who injures another party due to their negligent conduct can be held legally liable for the resulting damages through a civil personal injury claim. To get more information about your rights or your options after a distracted driving crash, contact a top Las Vegas, NV auto accident attorney for immediate help.
What to Do If You are Hurt in an Accident With a Distracted Driver
Were you injured in a distracted driving accident in Las Vegas? If so, it is essential that you take immediate action to protect your rights. At Naqvi Injury Law, we have extensive experience representing distracted driving accident victims, including people hurt in texting-and-driving accidents and cell phone accidents. Here are four steps to take to protect your rights after a crash:
- Get Medical Attention: Medical needs always come first. If you were hurt in a distracted driving collision, make sure to see a doctor. Severe injuries require an emergency room visit. Other injuries require prompt medical attention. Do not take chances with your health. Remember, you can only get personal injury compensation if you see a physician.
Report the Crash: All serious traffic accidents should be reported to the police. If you believe the other driver was distracted by a cell phone, it is especially important that you report the accident right away. The officer may even cite the other driver for a distracted driving ticket at the scene of the accident.
Secure Evidence: Nevada is an at-fault car accident state. You will need evidence to prove liability. Relevant evidence in a cell phone use distracted driving case comes in many forms, including police reports, traffic tickets, witness statements, admissions by the other driver, and even cell phone records.
Call a Lawyer: You are not alone in the personal injury claims process. You cannot rely on the other driver’s insurance provider or your insurance carrier for impartial guidance. These are big corporations that care more about their own bottom line than your best interests. Let a professional deal with them. Call an experienced Las Vegas, NV distracted driving accident attorney as soon as possible after a serious crash. A lawyer will answer your questions and explain the next stages of the process during a free consultation.
Ultimately, every distracted driving accident claim is different. In some cases, the other driver may admit to wrongdoing and be cited for cell phone violation. In other cases, a driver may make false statements and deny that they were on a cell phone. No matter the circumstances, our Las Vegas auto accident lawyers are ready to take immediate action to get you justice and full compensation.
Contact Our Las Vegas Car Accident Attorneys Today
At Naqvi Injury Law, our Las Vegas car crash lawyers are driven to provide the best legal representation to injured victims. Our firm has earned a reputation for success. If you or your family member was hurt in a collision with a distracted driver, we are ready and willing to help. Call us now or contact us online for a free, no obligation review of your case. With a legal office in Las Vegas, we represent distracted driving accident victims throughout Clark County, including in North Las Vegas, Henderson, Sunrise Manor, Summerlin, Enterprise, and Paradise.