On October 1, 2011 a law goes into effect prohibiting drivers of all ages in the state of Nevada from using a handheld wireless communication device to read, write or send email or text-based communication while operating a motor vehicle. It further prohibits a person from using such a device for voice communications unless the device is used with an accessory that allows the person to communicate without using his or her hands, with certain limited exceptions.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions concerning the law:
Q: What defines a handheld wireless communication device?
A: “Handheld wireless communication device" means a handheld device used for the transfer of information without the use of electrical conductors or wires and includes a: wireless telephone, personal digital assistant, pager, or text messaging device.
Q: Can I be pulled over by a law enforcement officer for using my handheld wireless device?
A: Yes. A law enforcement officer can pull you over just for this infraction.
Q: Will there be a grace period when motorists will only get a warning?
A: Yes. The law goes into effect October 1, 2011. Law enforcement officers will not issue citations for a violation of this law but will issue a verbal or written warning to a person informing them that they have violated the law and that if caught after December 31, 2011, penalties will apply.
Q: What is the penalty if convicted of texting while operating a moving motor vehicle?
A: The law states that a first offense will not be treated as a moving traffic violation. However, if a person is convicted of a third or subsequent offense, in addition to a fine, the driver’s license of the person will be suspended for 6 months.
Q: What are the fines if I'm convicted?
A: A violation of the law is a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine of $50 for a first offense within the immediately preceding 7 years, $100 for a second offense within the immediately preceding 7 years and $250 for a third or subsequent offense within the immediately preceding 7 years.
Q: What if I need to use my handheld wireless device during an emergency?
A: The law allows a person who is responding to a situation requiring immediate action to protect the health, welfare or safety of the driver or another person, and where stopping the vehicle would be inadvisable, impractical or dangerous, to use a handheld device.
Q: Are passengers affected by this law?
A: No. This law only applies to the person driving a motor vehicle.
Q: Do these laws apply to out-of-state drivers whose home states do not have such laws?