Cell Phone Driving Ban Q&A

By: Lauren Garber Email
By: Lauren Garber Email

Reno, Nev. - The new cell phone ban is designed to make us safer on the roads, but there are still a lot of questions about what you can do on your phone while you're behind the wheel.

Here's our guide:

Q: What are the basics?
A: You won't be able to make or answer calls, texts, or emails on your cell phone while you're driving, unless you can do it on a hands-free device.

Q: Can I just use my phone's speakerphone.
A: Yes and no. Yes, you can use your phone's speakerphone, but you can't just set your phone on the dashboard, or hold it in your hand to talk. It must be affixed to a phone-holding device in your vehicle.

Q: Can I get pulled over just for talking on my phone?
A: Yes. And if you get pulled over, law enforcement will run your plates, and check to make sure everything is up to date.

Q: Will I get fined?
A: Not yet. Right now, law enforcement will issue verbal warnings to drivers. Fines start on January 1, 2012.

Q: After January 1, how much will it cost me if I get caught?
A: The first offense will cost you $50, the second, $100, and after that, you'll have to pay $250.

Q: If I'm driving and my phone rings, can I just pull over and answer it?
A: Yes and no. If you're on a side street, you can absolutely pull over into an empty parking spot to answer. You are not allowed to pull over into the emergency lane on the freeway.

Q: Are there any exceptions to the law.
A: Paid and volunteer firefighters, emergency medical technicians, ambulance attendant, law enforcement officer, or a person who's reporting a medical emergency, a safety hazard, or criminal activity.

Q: Can I use my GPS while I'm driving?
A: Yes and no. You won't legally be able to type in addresses or touch the screen while you're driving. You will need to pull over to input any information, unless your GPS is voice activated.

Q:What if I'm at a stoplight?
A: Still illegal. You're still behind the wheel, so you'll need to pull over to legally use your phone or GPS.

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