Have you ever answered a call while driving? Maybe you texted at a stop light. Either way, you may not be able to in the future, because it may be seen as negligence. With the high rate of car accidents around New Hampshire and the United States, many people have talked about restricting cellphone usage while driving.
According to a report from April 2, New Hampshire may become the 13th state to ban the use of a handheld cellphone while driving. This could go into effect if the Senate passes a bill that, at this point, has already passed the House of Representatives. According to the commissioner of safety, this is one of the most-needed pieces of highway safety legislation.
When attempting to pass the bill, the Senate Transportation Committee heard from a number of people including victims' families, law-enforcement officials and state agencies. Reports state that a shocking number of people have been killed or injured due to handheld cellphone use while driving; In New Hampshire, a reported 124 people were killed in car accidents caused by distracted driving just between 2010 and 2013.
This bill may impact you if you're used to talking on the phone while driving; no one will be able to use any handheld device, including a GPS or cellphone, while driving. The exception would be if you had to call 911. Anyone under 18 would also be banned from hands-free devices or cellphone use.
What the bill hopes to achieve is a reduction in accidents and distracted drivers on the road. To get away with making a call on the road, you would have to use a hands-free device or pull over to the side of the road. You wouldn't even be able to use your handheld phone at a stop light or stop sign, as that would mean you were still driving and should be paying attention to the road.
Source: Concord Monitor, "N.H. Senate hears testimony on bill to ban cell phones while driving" Kathleen Ronayne, Apr. 02, 2014