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Nevada Lawmakers Consider Distracted Driving Measures

When the Nevada legislature reconvenes in February to resume work on bills, it will consider one to ban the use of cellphones by motorists. During hearings, lawmakers will be reminded of the wreckage distracted driving can cause.

The wreckage comes in the form of not only crumpled cars, but damaged lives, severe injuries and even deaths.

The Las Vegas Sun reports that one story lawmakers will hear is of a woman and her husband who had pulled off of U.S. 95 near Tropicana Avenue to assist a friend with a stalled car. At that moment, a pick-up truck driven by a teenage girl talking on a cellphone slammed into them. The girl’s truck was going 75 mph when it hit the couple’s car.

The man sustained a lacerated liver and head wound. As a result, he can no longer remember his childhood.

The woman had her pelvis and right arm broken and she suffered a brain injury. She remains on disability six long years later.

Lawmakers will hear more than stories of how distracted drivers have devastated innocent victims. They’ll also learn about cold, hard numbers: between 2005 and 2009, there were over 1,100 motor vehicle accidents in Clark County involving the use of cellphones. Those crashes resulted in over 700 injuries.

A number of bills are ready for legislators to consider upon their return. One would ban the use of cellphones while drivers are behind the wheel.

Another would ban texting by all drivers, while another would ban cellphone use and texting by teen drivers only.

Observers expect stiff opposition to all of the bills, so it’s too early to say if any of them will survive the legislative process.

Resource: Las Vegas Sun: “Legislature to consider banning use of cell phones while driving”: December 8, 2010

John P. Aldrich
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