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NH drivers, put that phone down...
Cellphone use specifically was considered a “contributing factor” in two fatal motor-vehicle crashes in 2013, according to the state Department of Safety.
Rep. Laura Pantelakos, D-Portsmouth, said her bill goes beyond cellphones to include prohibiting drivers from using other electronics, including laptops and GPS navigational systems.
Authorities said Travis Hobbs, 20, of Mont Vernon was checking his email on his cellphone when he allegedly struck and killed former Amherst Fire Chief John Bachman on Dec. 23. Hobbs is charged with negligent homicide.
The 14 fatal crashes involving driver inattention/distraction in 2013 represent the highest number dating back to at least 2009.
“If we look at it from a public health perspective, I think that might be the right tack,” Gale said. “We need to be real clear, when you’re out on the road, you need to focus eyes and ears, all attention on what’s in front of you.”
House Bill 1117, sponsored by Gale, prohibits cellphone use while driving a vehicle, except for hands-free devices or emergency personnel performing their duties. Violators are subject to a $100 fine.
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