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Nevada law enforcement cracking down on distracted drivers

Law enforcement agencies in Nevada are teaming up to combat distracted driving.

Through Feb. 19, Nevada’s law enforcement agencies will be joining forces to cite drivers who are not paying attention to the road, multiple law enforcement agencies announced.

The use of handheld electronic devices — including cell phones, MP3 players and GPS devices — while driving is illegal under Nevada law, and offenders will be pulled over and cited.

In 2017, 15 deaths on Nevada roads were attributed to distracted driving, according to the Department of Public Safety.

While Nevada’s ban on handheld devices when driving took effect in 2012, law enforcement still cites offenders every day, according to the Nevada Highway Patrol.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Andrew Bennett said crashes caused by distracted drivers are “100 percent preventable.”

“Our office continues to work with our partners to educate the public on eliminating distractions behind the wheel but unfortunately, we continue to see crashes ranging from property damage only to fatalities,” he said. “For some drivers, a citation might be the only education that gets through to them.”

The Governors Highway Safety Association offers these tips to help limit driving distractions:

■ Turn your phone off or switch to silent mode before you get in the car. If that doesn’t help, put your phone in your trunk, or out of reach.

■ Don’t text and drive, surf the web or read your email while driving.

■ Set up a message to tell callers that you are driving and you’ll get back to them as soon as possible.

■ If you need to make a call, find a safe, legal place to pull over and park to make the call, or ask a passenger to make one for you.

■ Review maps and directions before you start to drive. If you need help while on the road, ask a passenger or pull over to a safe location to review the map/directions again.

■ Secure your pets. Always secure your pets properly before you start to drive.

■ Keep the kids safe. Pull over to a safe location to address situations with your children.

■ Refrain from any activities, including smoking, eating and drinking, that take your mind and eyes off the road.

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