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Apr 29, 2015 6:02 PM

Can drivers legally use smart watches under NH hands-free law?


CONCORD - If you drive Interstate 93, chances are you’ve seen the signs warning you about the new hands-free law that takes effect on July 1.

The law bans drivers from using all hand-held devices—including cell phones and GPS devices. But what about smart watches?

“If it only involves pressing a button to activate the phone feature, it probably won’t be a problem,” said Captain Vern Thomas of the Derry Police Dept. “One hand is what’s allowed right now, but I suspect that someone who wants to manipulate the data on their watch is going to be in violation."

So, how will police spot and stop offenders?

“You can see the interior of their cars lit of with the screen they’re holding ... That’s a dead giveaway.” Captain Thomas said. “Another is when you see people hesitate at traffic lights or they start to swerve.”

The Centers for Disease Control reports that 9 people are killed and more than a thousand get hurt every day in crashes that involve a distracted driver.

Safety experts warn that communicating hands free doesn't necessarily mean you'll be any safer. Taking your mind off the road can be as or dangerous. And, as costly.


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