Monday, May 30, 2011 | 12:05 p.m.
CARSON CITY – The Assembly on Monday approved a bill that would ban a motorist from using a cell phone or texting while driving.
The vote was 24-17 on Senate Bill 140, which now returns to the Senate for approval of a minor amendment. There was no debate on the measure.
The bill would allow a driver to use a cell phone attached to the vehicle, which would permit a motorist to keep both hands on the wheel.
There are a number of exemptions in the measure. Emergency and law enforcement officers would be permitted to use a cell phone while on duty. Motorists also would be allowed to use a cell phone to report or request assistance for a medical emergency, a safety hazard or criminal activity.
It would become effective July 1, but law enforcement officials could only give a warning to a driver caught using a cell phone through the end of this year.
Beginning in 2012, a motorist could be cited for a misdemeanor and fined $50 on the first offense; $100 on the second offense and $250 for the third and subsequent violations. The driver's license could be suspended for six months on the third or later violations.