New Hampshire has some of the strictest laws in the country when it comes to cell phones, texting, and driving. New laws went into effect on July 1, of 2015 to prohibit the use of any device which is able to send or receive any kind of electronic transmission. The list includes:
- MP3 players
- Cell phones
There are exceptions to this law which permit drivers to use a Bluetooth speaker system and state that emergency calls are allowed to be made in any case. Yet, you are not allowed to use a handheld device that is able to send voice or data communication while halted in traffic, stopped at a stop sign, or while operating a moving vehicle. Hands free electronic devices are allowed to be used when making phone calls.
Drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to use an electronic device behind the wheel, except to report an emergency. This includes both handheld and hands free devices.
- Drivers 18 years of age and under are not allowed to use any type of electronic device while driving, except to make emergency calls
- Hands free devices are only allowed to be used by drivers over the age of 18
A police officer can pull you over if you are caught texting or using a handheld cell phone while driving. If you are pulled over, you will receive a ticket that can come with a pretty steep fine.
- First offense is $100
- Second offense is $250
- Third offense within two years is $500
- Penalty assessments are added to fines, which can increase them
From 2011 to 2014, there were 116 fatal motor vehicle accidents in the State of New Hampshire that were caused by drivers who were distracted. Furthermore, if a driver is texting, they are 23 more times likely to be involved in a car accident. Just dialing a phone number can increase your risk of an accident by three times more than those focusing on the road.
The State of New Hampshire is pretty strict when it comes to using cell phones and texting while you are behind the wheel. Only hands free devices are allowed, so check to make sure that your vehicle has one, or have one installed to be in compliance with the law. It is a good idea to put your cell phone away while you are driving for your safety and the safety of others.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Cell Phones and Texting: Distracted Driving Laws in New Hampshire and was authored by Valerie Johnston.