RENO, NV - More than 2,000 tickets have been issued in northern Nevada since the hands-free law went into effect at the beginning of the year. You may know about the law, but officers are concerned that drivers don't understand how dangerous texting behind the wheel really is. Cell phones are behind as many as three-thousand accidents every year.
Today only, the Nevada Highway Patrol and Washoe County Sheriff's Office invited local reporters to pull out their cell phones and get behind the wheel to measure how dangerous it really is. They say just like intoxicated drivers, those distracted by their phone have problems maintaining the travel lanes, stopping, and seeing hazards in the road. They want to get out the word and make Nevada a "No Phone Zone" behind the wheel.
One thing most drivers get confused about is checking messages while the car is stopped. Trooper Michael Edgell of the NHP says it's illegal to grab your phone anytime you're behind the wheel, even if the car is stopped. So be on the safe and use a headset or leave your phone out of reach when you get in the car.