As some of us may be aware the Nevada Legislature passed a law that prohibits and/or limits a person from using a cell phone while driving. Since everybody these days relies on a cell phone I have been getting a lot of questions about what a person can do while in the car. The law NRS 484B.165 went into affect in its full force on January 1, 2012.
The law applies to a person operating a motor vehicle on a highway in the State of Nevada. The term highway means any road, street, freeway, etc. that the public has access to. It can be argued that this would can also be applied to parking lots.
The law prohibits the use of texting, searching the internet, reading email, instant messaging, etc. while operating a vehicle. So technically even if you are stopped at a light you would be breaking the law if you were reading your emailing. So there is no reading or typing while operating a vehicle.
The law does allow for a person to use a cellphone while operating a vehicle if they are using an accessory that allows the use of the phone to be handsfree. Therefore any bluetooth device or earpiece will allow you to follow the law and talk. But many of the questions I received are regarding the question of, can I touch my phone to answer, to call, etc? The law specifically states that a person is allowed to use the phone “to activate, deactivate or initiate a feature or function on the device.” This can be argued that initiating a phone call is acceptable. I also see a lot of people holding the cell phone and using the speaker function while driving. This would not meet the definition of handsfree and therefore would be illegal. You can call and put the call on speaker but must then put the phone down.
As with any law there are exceptions to those people who must follow the law: Law enforcement, Emergency Medical personnel, etc.
If you get a citation and you just pay it you will be pleading guilty to a misdemeanor in Nevada. The Statute requires the following fine schedule:
- First offense within 7 years is $50, and is not considered a moving violation.
- Second offense within 7 years is $100, moving violation.
- Third offense within 7 years is $250, moving violation.