Effective July 1, 2015, the use of all hand-held electronic devices while driving will be illegal in New Hampshire. Although the bulk of the law will not take effect until July 1, a provision requiring that the public be educated is currently in effect, so New Hampshire drivers can expect to see electronic highway signs warning them about the dangers of distracted driving.

On July 25, Gov. Maggie Hassan signed the bill into law, which will make hand-held cell phone use punishable by a $100 fine for the first offense, $250 for a second offense and $500 for subsequent offenses within a 24-month period. According to the Insurance Journal, the law will apply while drivers are temporarily stopped, such as at a red light, but not if they have pulled over, off the roadway. It will still allow hands-free cellphone use, but will ban emailing, texting, and programming GPS systems while driving.

Currently, state law only bans texting while driving, which is not always effective, as it can be difficult to discern whether a driver is typing a text message, dialing, or inputting an address into his/her GPS, for instance. This will no longer be an issue under the new law, as it will prohibit all of these activities, the Insurance Journal reports. The law will also ban all cellphone use by minors while driving, with the exception of emergency calls.

According to the Insurance Journal, the new law will be most heavily promoted in the weeks before it takes effect. For additional information, click here to read the full article on the Insurance Journal.

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