It’s official: the NH Hands Free Law is going into effect July 1, 2015. This means that as of July 1, 2015, if you drive in NH you must use a Bluetooth device when on your cell phone, or risk getting a ticket. Anyone who is pulled over for this offense “shall be fined $100 plus penalty assessment for a first offense, $250 plus penalty assessment for a second offense, and $500 plus penalty assessment for any subsequent offense within a 24-month period.”

Another part of the NH Hands Free Law is that anyone under the age of 18 may not use any cellular device, whether connected via Bluetooth or not, while they’re driving, unless they’re reporting an emergency situation via 911. The NH teen driving laws apply to anyone under 18 who violate this law – meaning they may have their license suspended.

More and more states are cracking down on cell phone usage, citing distracted driving – especially text messaging – as a main cause of accidents. It is illegal to text while driving in most states, and some states like NH are implementing hands free laws that prohibit talking directly on a cell phone while driving.

In Massachusetts, texting while driving or using your cell phone to access the internet (or Facebook, etc) while driving is illegal, and talking on the phone without a Bluetooth device is illegal for drivers under 18 – but adults over the age of 18 are not prohibited from talking on the phone while driving, so this could be an adjustment for MA drivers who drive in NH.

To keep things simple when the NH Hands Free Law goes into effect, just use a Bluetooth device if your car isn’t already set up with one – or simply avoid talking on the phone while driving in NH. And never, ever text and drive!

For more information on the NH Hands Free Law, click here.