Nebraska defines distracted driving as driving when the brain is experiencing an increased workload, causing the driver to lose full focus on operating a moving vehicle. When distractions occur, information is processed slower along with reaction times, making crashes more likely to happen. Distracted driving in Nebraska is now among the top three factors in serious injury and fatal vehicle crashes - the other two being speeding and alcohol.
Drivers who have a learner’s permit or an intermediate license are banned from using a cell phone while they are operating a motor vehicle. This ban includes hands free devices. In addition, it is illegal for drivers of all ages and license status to text while driving.
- Drivers with a learner’s permit or intermediate license cannot use a cell phone at all
- Drivers of all ages are banned from texting and driving
There are a few exceptions to the texting law, yet they mostly concern emergency services personnel.
- A law enforcement officer performing their duty
- A firefighter, emergency medical technician, or someone driving a motor vehicle in an emergency situation
In the State of Nebraska, a police officer cannot pull you over just for texting. There has to be another violation involved. For example, if you are texting someone, not paying attention to the road, and then run a stop sign, a police officer can pull you over for running a stop sign. If they notice that you were texting while running the stop sign, they can give you a ticket for both texting and running the stop sign.
- First offense is $200
- Second offense is $300
- Third and subsequent offenses are $500 and three points on your driver’s license
If you have a regular license, you are free to make cell phone calls while operating a vehicle. However, it is important to still use caution and pull over to the side of the road if need be. Remember, while a police officer cannot pull you over just for texting, if you commit another violation while texting, the fines can add up very quickly. It is important to pay close attention to the road, and if you need to turn off your cell phone to do this, then it is a good idea to turn it off and put it away.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Cell Phones and Texting: Distracted Driving Laws in Nebraska and was authored by Valerie Johnston.