Methuen Police Give Heads Up on N.H. Hand-Held Device Law

At least one Massachusetts police department is advising motorists about a new “Hands Free Electronic Device Law” taking effect in the state of New Hampshire July 1.

The new law prohibits, while driving or temporarily halted in traffic, the use of hand held electronic devices. Devices include cell phones, GPS, tablets, iPods, iPads or other devices that require data entry. The law does not include hands-free devices such as Bluetooth, or one hand, non-cellular two-way radios. “Emergency calls to 911 or other public safety agencies will be allowed,” a Methuen spokesperson said.

“During the past four years, 116 fatal crashes in New Hampshire were caused by distraction. While texting, a driver is 23 times more likely to crash. Sending or receiving a text distracts the driver for almost five seconds.”

Under the new law, drivers in New Hampshire under the age of 18 are not allowed to use any electronic devices except to report an emergency.

Violators will be subject to a $100 fine for a first offense, $250 on a second offense and a $500 fine on a third offense within two years. Other penalties include license suspension or revocation.