Home » News » Politics » State Government
Case made to Senate panel for ban on hand-held cell phone use while driving
The bill would allow the hands-free use of a cell phone via speaker phone, BlueTooth or on-board car phones, GPS or other electronic devices for drivers older than 18 years old.
Supporters noted that distracted driving is a factor in 27 percent of the fatal accidents in the state over the last three years, resulting in 116 deaths.
But opponents said the bill overreaches and its prohibitions are unrealistic. And they said current laws against distracted driving are not enforced and should be before any new restrictions are imposed.
Rep. Gary Daniels, R-Milford, noted the bill makes an exception for the use of CB radios and like devices; someone could just as easily hold a cell phone with one hand and carry on a conversation while looking at the road, he said.
Cell phone bans while driving have been before the legislature many times; none had been successful until the House passed HB 1360 on a 192-133 vote last month.
Using a cell phone while driving is banned in 12 states; 41 states prohibit texting while driving.
The bill creates the crime of impeded driving, which would be a primary offense that allows a police officer to stop a vehicle for violating the law. Under a secondary offense, police may not stop a vehicle for the violation, but if the driver is stopped for another violation, a charge can be brought.
The bill also had the backing of the New Hampshire Auto Dealers Association.
"You see people weave in and out of lanes like never before," Gaudet said. "I was a biker, but I bought a mountain bike last year. If you're out on the roads today, it's scary."
The only opposition to the bill at the Senate hearing came from representatives who had opposed the bill in the House.
READER COMMENTS: 1
- Firewood scarcity driven by demand throughout NH - 2
- Hopkinton wood program is neighbor to neighbor - 0
- Fire marshal OKs Groton Wind operations after deeming facility safe - 0
- Northeast natural gas at decade high on winter supply concern - 1
- Developer granted permit for wind tower in Alexandria - 3
- Hanover project seeks to increase solar installations - 1
- UPDATED: Regulators OK 47 percent rate hike for Liberty Utilities customers - 15
- Developer says Alexandria wrong to deny tower - 0
- Unitil wants to charge NH customers higher rates - 2
READER COMMENTS: 0
- James Pindell's The Back Story: Does the grassroots approach still work? - 0
- Shaheen: 'Don't Import Candiate That Outsources Jobs' - 3
- Abandoned Property: Romney, Brownies and even J.D. Salinger are on the list, are you? - 0
- Ted Siefer's City Hall: Levasseur back on MPD's case, but this time with numbers - 0
- Answers sought over dead ducks, geese - 0
- Londonderry man killed in cycle crash - 0
- Monitoring social media - 1
- Apple opens in Manchester - 0
- NHIAA football: Bedford hangs on, outlasts Concord - 0
Monitoring social media
More violence at Keene
Rowdy night ushers in Keene Pumpkin Festival
Boz Scaggs explores a bit of 'Memphis'
Shaheen, in Hooksett, rallies with union
Monitoring social media
After riots, soul-searching begins
On Obamacare: Shaheen doesn't get it