Dec 30, 1899 12:00 AM
The state continues to ramp up the new state law that won’t allow motorists to use a hand-held cell phone while driving.
Starting July 1, anyone caught driving while holding a phone can be fined $100 for the first offense and $500 by the third time.
"This new laws will require all of us to change our behavior,’’ said State Police Lieut. Matthew Shapiro. "Our goal here is to save lives.’’
The New Hampshire Auto Dealers, State Police and Department of Transportation rolled out the latest innovation, flyers about the law that will be given to all of those who are caught at traffic stops.
The campaign known as Driving Toward Zero or no highway deaths will also include placing electronic billboards on major highways reminding motorists of the impending law.
Bill Gurney, incoming chairman of the New Hampshire Auto Dealers Association, said most new cars are equipped with On-star or other hands-free technology.
"It’s easy to use and it’s also easy to add to your vehicle,’’ Gurney said. ``The technology has been in place in cars since 2009.”
The campaign also includes radio public service announcements. A moving one features Michelle Bachman of Amherst whose husband was struck and killed outside their home by a distracted driver.
Over the last four years, distracted drivers has caused 124 crashes on the state’s roadways.
Shapiro said this law is well written and comprehensive in contrast to the 2009 law that outlawed driving while sending a text message.
The law made it difficult for the state to enforce which was why in 2012 during 100,000 traffic stops in New Hampshire, only 67 resulted in a citation for texting only 67 times.
"It was not effective; this law is broadly written and gives law enforcement the tools they need,’’ Shapiro added.
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