By Farhan Naqvi, Personal Injury Lawyer in Nevada
It’s official: drivers in the state of Nevada will no longer be able to use a handheld cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. This week, Governor Brian Sandoval signed into law a bill banning the practice. Late last month, the bill received approval from state lawmakers in Carson City.
The legislation is designed to eliminate a common type of distracted driving, which is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents in the state. Beginning July 1, any Nevada driver caught texting, talking, or doing anything else on a handheld cell phone can be pulled over by police and cited.
However, authorities will only issue warnings for the rest of 2011. Starting in January, violators can be fined $50 for the first offense, $100 for a second offense, and $250 every time after that. If motorists receive three such citations in a seven-year period, they will see their driver’s license suspended for six months.
This ban does not apply to “hands-free” mobile devices. So drivers who want to talk on their cell phones should purchase an earpiece and/or invest in a phone (or vehicle) which utilizes voice-activated calling technology. But if you have a handheld cell phone and are using it to report criminal activity, driving hazards, or medical emergencies while driving, you will be exempt from the ban. Also, first responders can drive and talk on handheld cell phones while on duty.
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else who was using a handheld cell phone while behind the wheel, you should contact a qualified auto accident attorney to see about seeking compensation for your injuries.
o About the Editor: Farhan R. Naqvi is a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer who has experience representing victims injured in motorcycle accidents, car accidents, drunk driver crashes, auto pedestrian accidents, truck wrecks, slip and falls, taxi cab accidents, and bicycle crashes. He also has experience handling spine injury, product liability, underinsured/uninsured driver, and wrongful death cases. If you’ve been seriously hurt in an accident in Summerlin, North Las Vegas, Clark County, Henderson, Boulder City, Green Valley, or Pahrump, give Farhan a call at 702-553-1000 for a free, no-hassle consultation.