Thirty-four states have banned the use of cell phones while driving with Las Vegas being the latest city to jump on the bandwagon starting October 1. That means no texting, emailing, talking, facebooking, tweeting, or even touching your phone while you drive. The push for each state requiring such a law has received national attention and celebrity endorsed awareness from Justin Bieber, Oprah Winfrey and Jordin Sparks. In 2009, the DOT released statistics stating 448,000 people were injured in distraction related accidents and 5,474 killed. There have been multiple commercials and videos demonstrating cell phone related accidents, more horrifying than drunk driving commercials.
The Nevada law goes into effect on January 1, 2012, but law enforcement officers will be issuing warnings starting next Saturday, October 1. Unless you are a trained emergency medical responder, police officer, licensed FCC officer, or having/witnessing a medical or safety emergency, you are liable to be fined. The first offense will be a $50 fine followed $100 for second and $250 for the third within seven years. If you are caught using your phone in a construction zone you may be facing jail time up to 60 days or 120 hours of community service. It doesn’t make any message seem that important for those kinds of penalties. I got a cell phone ticket three years ago in California… I was calling my lawyer regarding a D.U.I. I had received. Hence, the officer had no sympathy for me and $125 was added to my fines due to the state. I learned my lessons on both driving incidences.
It may be hard to adjust to the law especially if your car doesn’t come equipped with Bluetooth. Mybullfrog stores around the valley are helping to ease the transition by giving away 1000 headset pieces to the public. In addition, the store will be holding raffles for free Bluetooth pieces to make the city aware of the new law. The giveaways begin Monday, September 26 leading up to a main car show event at the Mybullfrog Verizon Store on Las Vegas Boulevard on Saturday, October 1 from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. The store will feature a classic car auto show and a DJ while distributing headsets. Guests can enter to win Bluetooth sets and free smoothies from Tropical Smoothie for a year. Seems like a pretty good way to transition into the new law.
There are apps for smartphones that will read your messages out loud as well if you are worried about missing out on an important message. Just remember you won’t be able to pick up your phone to respond back. It won’t be long before every state enforces the law keeping the roads safer and fatalities down.