In the early summer of 2011, the governor of Nevada approved a bill banning handheld cell phone use and text messaging while driving. The Assembly took a final vote on the 30th of May and shortly thereafter, on June 4th of that year, the Senate signed off on the bill; making it official.
This made Nevada the 34th state to ban the act of texting whilst driving and the 9th to ban all handheld use while behind the wheel. As the law is written, the first time an offender is caught using their phone behind the wheel they face a fine of up to $100, the second time it will be up to $200 and up to $250 for the third strike. Also; third-time violators risk having their licenses' suspended.
The law is in effect as of January 1st, 2012, and according to a LVMPD twitter feed at that time, officers were making stops as of October of 2011 to "warn" people.
I am sure this was a welcome change for most Nevadans, even if at first it was a bit of an inconvenience, as one would assume this may reduce accidents and thus reduce the amount of injuries and fatalities that occur due to the act of using a cell phone while attempting to also maintain adequate control of a vehicle.
Contrary to that assumption; The New York Times, in an article published in January 2010, reported that research by the Highway Loss Data Institute showed no decreased in accidents in California, New York, Connecticut and Washington, since those four states passed similar bans against cell phone use while driving. One theory behind these surprising results is that those that were previously using handheld devices have switched to hands-free solutions that according to some are just as distracting and therefore just as dangerous.
Regardless of what the laws may be in our locale; it is wise for us to always consider the immense power that we hold over our own lives and the lives of those around us when we step into that 2500lb+ behemoth that we call a car or a truck and to keep that in mind before we bend over to grab the drink lid we just dropped, look down to change the radio station, turn around to check on the baby in the back seat or pick up that ringing cell phone.
Thank you for reading, drive safe out there.