‘Word Is Out’ on the NH Hands Free Law

July 10, 2015

 

by Doug Robinson

“We at the Hudson Police Department are very thankful and very pleased with the results of all the advertising and education programs which have been designed to inform the public about the new NH Hands Free Law, which went into effect July 1,2015,” commented Captain William Avery.

The new law states that “no use of hand-held electronic devices capable of providing voice or data communication while driving or temporarily halted in traffic for a stop sign or traffic signal or other momentary delays” may be used.  “This includes cell phone, GPS, tablets, iPods, iPads or other devices that require data entry” writes Michelle Vachon, HPD Records.

Vachon’s interdepartmental memo also states:

Emergency calls to 9-1-1 or other public safety agencies will be allowed

Bluetooth or other hands-free electronic devices will be allowed

One-hand non-cellular 2-way radio uses will be allowed

Teen drivers under the age of 18 will not be allowed to use any electronic devices (hand-held or not) except to report an emergency.  Anyone violating this will be subject to penalties and license suspension or revocation.

If your vehicle is not equipped with Bluetooth functionality, auto service centers can install after-market systems or over the ear devices can be purchased at (various) retailers.

The penalties for violations are $100 first, $250 – second, and third within two years – $500.

The New Hampshire roadways have realized 116 fatal crashes during the past four years due to primary distractions and the “increasing use electronic devices is fast becoming the primary distraction.”

Statistics, as reported by Vachon, state that “While texting, a driver is 23 times more likely to crash, distracts a driver for almost five seconds, and even the dialing of a phone number increases the risk of crashing by three times.”

Captain Avery commented that during the period of July 1 to July 7, the HPD had issued one citation and 12 warnings (of the 110 tickets written) for those who were in violation of the new Hands Free Law.

The NH State Police reported that during the 4th of July weekend, 400 motor vehicle citations were issued for speeding, 42 citations for driving after suspension, and 96 additional citations and 47 warnings were issued for violation of the new Hands Free Law.