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Distracted drivers focus of law enforcement crackdown

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Updated: 4/01/2014 8:58 am
LAS VEGAS — Between now and April 20, Nevada’s Joining Forces law enforcement team will be cracking down on distracted drivers throughout the state.

Nevada law clearly states that any use of a handheld electronic device—cell phones, mp3 players, GPS devices, etc. while driving is illegal, and offenders will be pulled over and cited.

Nevada’s ban on handheld devices while driving went into effect Jan. 1, 2012, and two years into the law, law enforcement continues to spot and cite offenders every day. The law was enacted because of an alarming trend on the roads: more than 3,500 distraction-related crashes every year in the state.

Research has found that using a cell phone behind the wheel makes a driver four times more likely to get into a crash serious enough to cause injury.

Additionally, when sending or receiving text messaging behind the wheel, a driver’s eyes are off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, equivalent to driving the length of a football field at 65 mph.

Law enforcement reminds motorists this increased enforcement isn’t just limited to cell phone use behind the wheel. Surfing the Internet, using a GPS, or changing the song on your mp3 player are all common, illegal distractions taking motorists’ eyes off the road.

The likelihood of crashes dramatically rise when your actions require a combination of visual, manual and cognitive attention. Because of this, the Nevada Department of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety urges everyone to focus on driving.

More information about distracted driving, including facts and statistics, is available on the Zero Fatalities Nevada program website.

— From news release

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