Although there has been a ban on cell phone use while driving for more than a year, thousands of tickets are being written each month. Local law enforcement officials believe more needs to be done to get the word out to motorists about the dangers of talking or texting while driving.
In 2012, the Nevada Highway Patrol issued more than 12,000 citations to drivers who were caught violating the cell phone ban. Here in Las Vegas, metro police officers wrote nearly 10,000 of these citations. That’s a significant number when compared to all other traffic violations in the state and local area.
In order to avoid being caught, many drivers are now placing their cell phones in their lap. This creates an even more dangerous situation, since drivers must take their eyes off the road for a longer period when doing so. According to one local officer, the average cell phone user takes his or her eyes off the road for about five seconds when talking. During this time, a vehicle operating at 55 mph can travel the entire length of a football field.
It’s obvious that more needs to be done to curb cell phone usage behind the wheel. Police encourage those who must use cell phones while driving to consider a hands-free device or pull over to the side of the road. This is important, as the fine increases with each subsequent offense and a third citation can result in a suspended driver’s license.