Today is the first day that NH’s new hands-free driving law takes effect. As most of you have heard, there are stiff penalties for violations. Penalties for violations during a two year span:
- 1st Offense $100 fine
- 2nd offense $250 fine
- 3rd Offense within 2 years $500 fine
- Penalty assessments will be added to the fines
AND violating the law will likely increase your auto insurance. Violating the hands free law will also result in an increase in what is paid in premiums for car insurance as many insurance companies will consider it a moving violation, similar to a speeding ticket. The duration of impact for an increased premium may vary by car insurance company as some auto carriers review a three year driving history, while others use five years.
What does the law cover? Given how expensive a violation really can be, here’s what you need to know.
- 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 This includes cell phones, GPS, tablets, iPods, iPads or other devices that require data entry
- Emergency calls to 911 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 use will be allowed
- Teen drivers under the age of 18 will not be allowed to use any electronic devices except to report an emergency
- 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 retailers such as Staples, Best Buy or your cell phone carrier.
Why is this law important?
- During the past 4 years, 116 fatal crashes in New Hampshire were caused by distraction
- The increasing use of electronic devices is fast becoming the primary distraction
- While texting a driver is 23 times more likely to crash
- Sending or receiving a text, distracts the driver for almost 5 seconds
- At 50 miles per hour, we travel longer than the length of a football field during that 5 seconds
Ask your agent for more information on how this law can impact your auto insurance. We are happy to help you as well at www.keslarinsurance.com.