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Getting a Jump on the New Cell Phone Law | Crime

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Getting a Jump on the New Cell Phone Law
Getting a Jump on the New Cell Phone Law

Henderson Police today announced they will get a head start on the new state law governing cell phone use while driving.

Department officers will no longer use handheld cell phones and text while driving on duty except in emergencies.

Although a new law banning the use of handheld cell phones provides an exemption for police officers on duty to use handheld cell phones, Chief Jutta Chambers said she wants Henderson to lead by example.

The new department policy mirrors the state law banning the use of handheld devices. Chief Chambers signed the new policy which goes into effect today, two months before the new state law. The new law banning the use of handheld cell phones or other handheld devices to talk, type or read will start on Oct. 1 with police officers issuing warnings. Starting Jan. 1, officers will start issuing tickets.

“While law allows officers to use their cell phones in the performance of their duties while driving, we want to set an example for our citizens by driving safely and free from the distractions of handheld cell phones and texting,” Chief Chambers said. “I hope the new law will make the roadways a little safer for the officers and motorists.”

Each year in Nevada, there are more than 3,500 distracted-related crashes and there have been 71 fatalities since 2005, according to the Nevada Department of Transportation.

The new law allows motorists to use hands-free devices for taking calls while driving and Henderson Police officers will also be allowed to use such devices while on duty.

Officers will start issuing citations in January for motorists violating the new law. Penalties for violating the handheld cell phone/texting law are $50 for the first violation, $100 for the second violation and $250 for the third violation.

“I know it will be difficult for motorists to give up talking on a handheld cell phone or texting, but by paying attention to driving, the roads will be safer for all of us,” Chief Chambers said.

The law has several exceptions when motorist can use a handheld cell phone to make a call including reporting a safety hazard, reporting criminal activity and reporting or requesting emergency medical assistance. The Henderson Police policy also allows officers to use handheld cell phones for emergency communications.

 

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