Handheld cell use illegal when driving

Date Published: 2013-01-10

Contact: Meg Ragonese

Phone: (775) 888-7172

Title: Nevada Traffic Fatalities Rise in 2012

Story Text:

CARSON CITY, Nev. – The Nevada Departments of Public Safety and Transportation are reminding motorists to drive safely after Nevada traffic deaths rose slightly in 2012 over the previous year. Preliminary numbers show that 258 traffic fatalities occurred on Nevada roads in 2012, an increase of 12 deaths compared to the previous year.

Though they rose in 2012, annual Nevada traffic fatalities have trended down after reaching an all-time high of 432 in 2006. While the number of fatalities rose, serious traffic injuries were down in 2012, with a preliminary number of more than 725 serious traffic injuries in 2012 compared to 1,222 in 2011.

The Nevada Strategic Highway Safety Plan brings Nevada traffic and safety advocates together to implement enforcement, engineering, emergency medical and educational strategies for cutting the yearly traffic fatality average in half by 2030, with the ultimate goal of zero fatalities on Nevada roads.

“Agencies and organizations across the state are working together and continually putting enhancements in place to save lives and prevent serious injury on Nevada roads,” Nevada Department of Transportation Director Rudy Malfabon explained. “But ultimately, reaching zero fatalities relies on each and every person. When we think of ourselves, our friends and our family, one traffic death is too many. That’s why it is so important that we each be safe every time we’re on the road.”

“Pedestrian deaths are unfortunately up this year, and it’s important that both drivers and pedestrians be safe and share the road,” Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Jeremie Elliot added. “And wearing a seat belt is still statistically one of the most important things you can do to help save your life and reduce injuries in a crash. It truly comes down to always focusing on the road and being safe while driving, walking or riding.”  

To learn more about Nevada traffic safety, log on to Zero Fatalities Website.

Driving Safety Tips  

To reach zero fatalities, motorists should always follow these safe driving tips:

Buckle Up/Click It or Ticket: Approximately 50 percent of fatality crashes that Nevada law enforcement agencies investigate involve unbuckled vehicle occupants. It only takes two seconds to click your seat belt, and the life you save might just be your own.

Don’t Drive Impaired/Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving: On average, more than 50 people are arrested for driving under the influence every day in Nevada. A first DUI arrest will likely result in a 90-day loss of driving privileges, an impounded vehicle, legal fees, court fees, two days in jail and attendance at a Victim Impact Panel, with harsher penalties for subsequent offenses.

Be Pedestrian Safe: In 2012, there were 58 pedestrian deaths on Nevada roads, compared to 46 pedestrian deaths in 2011. In Clark County, pedestrian deaths rose from 30 in 2011 to 42 in 2012. Pedestrians should always cross safely, making eye contact with drivers, and drivers should always look for and yield to pedestrians.

Focus on the Road: Distracted and/or sleepy driving are just two of the factors that can lead drivers to unintentionally leave their lane. Put away the distractions and drive with your full attention and eyes on the road. Handheld cell phone use is illegal while driving in Nevada.

Stop on Red: In a recent five-year span, 467 people died in Nevada intersection crashes. Whether at a traffic signal or stop sign, always stop on red!