New Year means new laws against distracted driving

Posted on by Defensive Driving Team | in The Daily Drive

So you are driving down the road, chatting with your buddy and the next thing you know, the red and blue lights of a state patrol car are behind you and you are starting the new year with a traffic ticket, but you are not sure why…you hang up with your friend and wait to find out why.

The officer approaches your vehicle and asked the standard question, “Do you know why I am pulling you over?”

“No sir, I do not know, I was not speeding.”

“I am not pulling you over for speed, I am pulling you over for the use of handheld phone while driving and you are being cited for it.   License, registration and proof of insurance please.”

This very scenario was playing out in Nevada starting January 1st.   Cell phone use while driving had already been banned starting October 1, 2011, but starting January 1st, law enforcement officers in Nevada could write a $250 ticket for it.   The law has created confusion, for instance, checking to see who called on your phone, not answering it, but simply checking the phone itself, while driving, is considered a violation of the law and will result in a ticket.   Nevada enacted this legislation as over 50 fatalities were directly attributed to distracted driving over the past five years.

Nevada is one of the first and certainly not the last state to enact legislation related to the banning and criminalization for hand held devices and phones, but the irony, at this years Consumer Electronics Show, an annual event in Las Vegas, Mercedes introduced its Facebook enabled vehicle.  More technology and applications are making their way into vehicles and smart cars vs. phones are right around the corner.

DefensiveDriving.com promotes the safe use of handheld devices in the vehicles, which is not to use them.   Our online driver safety courses cover a number of safe driving habits including but not limited to, the avoidance of all types of distracted driving.   Distracted driving due to the use of cell phones for talking and texting are the most discussed forms of distracted driving, but studies show radios, food and other passengers are just as dangerous.

Taking a defensive driving course is important not only for ticket dismissal and discounts for auto insurance, it also provides updated information regarding new laws, so you do not learn something new the hard way.

Drive Safe and Friendly!

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