A Nevada woman says what she thought was an April Fools’ prank was actually no joking matter. When Stephanie Fragoso got pulled over on April 1 for applying lip balm at a stop light, she thought the officer was joking. However, she realized quickly that he was serious when she was handed a $200 ticket for a distracted driving violation.
KLAS reports that Stephanie Fragoso was stopped at a red light when she applied some Chapstick. However, she was pulled over by a Nevada Highway Patrol officer after leaving the red light for “distracted driving.” Fragoso says that she explained to the officer that it was just Chapstick and that she was fully stopped when applying the product. However, she says the officer says they have a “zero tolerance” policy in Nevada for any form of distracted driving, including makeup application.
Fragoso thought it was all an April Fools’ prank until the officer returned with a $200 citation. Fragoso says that the officer noted that drivers doing anything aside from driving could be cited, even for taking a drink of water.
“He said ‘it could have been anything; you could have been drinking water, shaving your legs.'”
When reporters spoke with a Nevada State trooper about the policy, he indicated that drivers could be cited for any action that takes their eyes or focus off of the road, this includes applying lip balm. The Daily Mail notes that fines for distracted driving range from $50 to $250 in Nevada with more severe penalties for multiple offenses or being distracted in a work zone.
Nevada Highway Patrol trooper Loy Hixson says that the state has a “zero tolerance policy” when it comes to distracted driving and that the state has a goal of achieving zero highway fatalities. Part of meeting that goal means keeping distracted drivers off the road.
“We have zero tolerance for distracted drivers. They put themselves and everyone else who uses our valley roadways at risk of serious injury or even death. Nevada’s goal is and always will be zero fatalities.”
Hixson says he has seen a lot of crazy distractions while on duty. From men using electric razors to shave their beards to a woman watching a movie on her iPad as it was strapped to her steering wheel, Hixson says any distraction is not worth someone’s life.
Want to see how dangerous distracted driving can really be? Check out this shocking video of distracted drivers behind the wheel taken by AAA.
What do you think about the $200 citation for putting on lip balm? Should a driver be ticketed for distracted driving if the action took place while the vehicle was not in motion, such as at a stop light?
[Getty Images/ Stringer]