Law enforcement enforcing new cell phone driving law

Law enforcement enforcing new cell phone driving law

By Marco Villarreal. CREATED Jan 1, 2012

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Think twice before picking up that cell phone behind the wheel. Nevada's new ban is fully in effect. Any out there who think law enforcement is going to ease into writing those tickets may soon learn how serious Nevada Highway Patrol takes enforcing the new law.

"I've given out about six today already," says Trooper Jeremie Elliott.

NHP troopers are out in full force this weekend.

"We have all the regular days off have been canceled for the troopers that are off on the weekends, so basically we have triple staff out on the roadway," says Elliott.

While the New Year's holiday weekend has something to do with it, so does a new law getting actively enforced; the cell phone ban while driving.

"We're out there actively pulling people over for that. Citing them. The warning period is done," says Elliott.

Action News, in a ride along with NHP, watches Trooper Elliott go after a distracted driver.

"Basic reason why I stopped you is your focus was on the phone and not the traffic that was in front of you," he tells the driver.

Running the drivers information, he fills out the unwanted ticket, and teaches this person to stay off the phone.

"I am going to cite you for the cell phone, but the good news is it's your first offense. It's a 50 dollar fine. It kicked in last night," he informs the driver.

The driver denies texting, but the trooper says the elements of the crime were there.

"Her eyes were on the phone the whole time she passed through that intersection, and that's more than enough for me. She was distracted by that cellular device," says Elliott.

GPS devices and music players can also be a distraction if not mounted correctly and in the drivers hands.

"Some people are thinking that maybe, oh I'm still getting away with a warning, but no, that's not the case anymore. We can cite you now. It's not just have a nice day with a warning. You're leaving the stop with a fine," he says.

To break down the penalties we all face if caught with a phone in our hands while driving it goes like this. First offense is $50, second offense $100, and third offense $250.