Keep your eyes on the road: Mesquite Police announce cellphone enforcement week

Stock image | Photo by Antonio_Diaz/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

MESQUITE, Nev. This week, officers with the Mesquite Police Department in Nevada will be focusing their traffic enforcement efforts on motorists using cellphones and handheld devices while driving.

Image courtesy of Mesquite Police Department, St. George News

From Monday through Sunday, officers will be in both marked and unmarked vehicles to enforce the cellphone law, specifically in high pedestrian areas like school zones and intersections with crosswalks.

“With this enforcement event our goal is to focus on safety around our school zones and other pedestrian crossings,” Lt. Tracy Fails said in a press release issued by the Police Department. “We also want to re-educate drivers on the hazards of using a cell phone while operating a vehicle and remind drivers that operating a vehicle safely is everybody’s responsibility.”

Nevada law states a driver is not to use a cellphone or electronic device without hands-free technology while operating a vehicle, even while at a stop sign or stop light. This includes talking on the phone and texting. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for about 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, cellphone use while driving is one of the most prevalent causes of distracted driving. In 2015 there were 391,000 people injured in auto accidents involving distracted drivers nationwide, and 3,450 people were killed in 2016 in accidents involving distracted drivers.

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