Stephanie Fragoso, 37, thought it was just another day at the wheel. She was driving to take care of something at the Department of Motor Vehicles, of all places, when she pulled away from an intersection, and the officer who had stopped at the red light next to her pulled her over.
He told Fragoso that she was getting a ticket because she was putting on makeup.
“I said no, I was putting on Chapstick,” Fragoso told The Washington Post.
Plus, she was stopped at a red light. A red light!
“He was very sorry; he did not want to give it to me,” Fragoso said of the ticket, which was first reported by CBS affiliate KLAS.
But Fragoso had violated a little-known local ordinance that can land drivers with expensive tickets for doing a host of things that might distract them from the road.
The incident happened on April 1, and we don’t really blame Fragoso for thinking it was just an elaborate, terrible April Fools’ Day joke. After all, dealing with pesky chapped lips at a red light seems harmless enough.
Laws banning texting or using a cellphone while driving have become ubiquitous. But the one that snared Fragoso goes even further. And this week, police in Las Vegas were cracking down: Fragaso said the officer told her that drivers caught with their hands anywhere but on the wheel were liable to be ticketed.
“[The ordinance] states that when a person is operating a vehicle they must provide full attention to the driving so that it won’t render that action to be unsafe,” Nevada Highway Patrol trooper Loy Hixson told KLAS.
Admittedly, some of the examples Hixson cited are pretty bizarre, if not terrifying.
“They may be eating,” he said. “We’ve seen women putting on makeup. I have seen men shaving with their electric razors. One time, when I was driving down U.S. 95, I saw a lady watching a movie on her iPad and the iPad was attached to her steering wheel with Velcro.”
Okay, so don’t do that.
But watch yourselves, Vegas; your seemingly innocent self-grooming habits have no place on the road.
“It’s really crazy, but the drivers in the city are so bad, I kind of feel better knowing that [police] are doing it,” Fragoso said. “I’m just kind of sad I was the example of that.”