The Nevada Highway Patrol will offer a program beginning next week that gives drivers caught using their cell phone while driving a second chance.
Beginning Monday through July 10, troopers in Southern Nevada will be ticketing distracted drivers. During that time, troopers will offer the offending driver the opportunity to participate in the “It Can Wait For 28” challenge.
The program uses 28 days of activities to encourage participants to examine their driving habits and help spread the Department of Public Safety’s “Zero Fatalities” message. Drivers who complete the program to satisfaction will have their tickets dismissed. Drivers who fail or opt out of it must still settle their tickets in court, and could face up to $1,000 in fines.
Officials said Friday the challenge is aimed at breaking the habit of distracted driving.
“The problem is actually bigger than we can actually put a number to,”said Capt. Anne Carpenter, of the Nevada DPS NHP. “We just don’t have enough time and enough troopers to be out there trying to cite everybody.”
Carpenter said thousands of crashes in Southern Nevada last year can be linked to distracted driving.
“Please, stop,” Carpenter said. “These lead to accidents, serious injuries and, sometimes, fatals.”
Carpenter said that next week kicks off a trial period for the program for NHP. She said the plan is to eventually get all Southern Nevada law enforcement involved.