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2,000 drivers cited for cellphone use this year
by Associated Press
Jun 16, 2012 | 1072 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
RENO (AP) — More than 2,000 northern Nevadans have been ticketed for cellphone-related traffic violations in the five months since the use of handheld phones has been banned in motor vehicles.

On Oct. 1, 2011, law enforcement began giving motorists a warning for driving while talking, typing or reading on a handheld cellphone. Fines of up to $250, depending on the number of offenses, began being issued on Jan. 1, 2012 for any driver using a handheld phone or device to talk, type or read.

The Nevada Departments of Transportation and Public Safety, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office and Reno Police are reminding motorists that handheld cellphone use while driving is illegal.

The Nevada Highway Patrol, Reno police and Washoe County sheriff’s deputies say that’s partly because they’ve been teaming up to crack down on drivers using their phones.

Trooper Chuck Allen says it’s illegal to talk, type or read anything on a phone while driving. Fines go up to $250 depending on the number of offenses.

Allen recommends putting you cellphone in a secure place like the glove compartment so you won’t be tempted to access it while driving.

“The Highway Patrol and other agencies continue to crack down on drivers using their phones while driving or stopped at stoplights or signs,” Allen said. “Drivers must remember that it’s illegal to use a handheld phone or device at any time while behind the wheel.”

Washoe County Sheriff’s spokesman Armando Avina reminds drivers that more than 3,000 distration-related crashes occur in Nevada each year, and nearly 50 have resulted in deaths in the past five years.

Across the nation in 2009, nearly 5,500 people died and half a million were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. The number is believed to represent only a fraction because police cannot always document whether distraction was a factor in vehicle crashes.
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