Free classes in Douglas, Carson for young drivers

With school in session and Nevada's ban on cell phone texting in motor vehicles effective Oct. 1, Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Dan Gordon is offering free safe driving courses for young drivers in Douglas County and Carson City.

The program - called Driving Responsibly Includes Vehicle Education - is set for 2:30-5:30 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center training room in Minden.

The class will be offered 12:30-3:30 p.m. Oct. 1 in the Ormsby Room at the Carson City Sheriff's Office on Musser Street.

The class is designed for drivers age 15 to their early 20s. Parents also are invited.

Nevada's cell phone law goes into effect Oct. 1 with warnings to be handed out until Jan. 1 when fines will be levied.

Under the law, drivers may not use a cell phone or other handheld wireless communication unless it is hands-free. Sending or receiving text messages is forbidden.

"We've added information on the new cell phone law giving a description of exactly what it entails. We're telling kids, when it goes into effect, you're not going to just get a warning. You'll get a ticket, or worse," he said.

Fines range from $50 to $250 depending on the number of


"We're telling young drivers that distracted driving is the new DUI as far as penalties and consequences are concerned," Gordon said.

He said the 10 highway fatalities in Douglas County so far this year emphasized the need for the class.

"The majority of these accidents were caused by people just not paying attention and making very simple mistakes with tragic results," Gordon said.

Gordon said he tries to make the class fun and interactive.

He is assisted by Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Ron Skibinski in Minden and NHP troopers in Carson City.

The theme of the class is that driving is a responsibility, Gordon said. He asked that participants make reservations so he knows how many people will attend.

"It it's too crowded, we can't have as much personal interaction with the students," Gordon said.

Gordon offers the sessions every two months.쇓


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