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NH texting while driving ban takes effect Jan. 1

•  National News     updated  2009/12/28 10:23


Tina Derby loves the ease and speed of text messages, even while driving, and sees no need to pull over to tap her fingers on her phone.

Come Jan. 1, her texting while behind the wheel could cost her a $100 fine if she gets caught in New Hampshire.

"I'd better start saving my money," said Derby, 42, of Warner.

Derby acknowledges banning texting probably is a good idea because the practice isn't very safe — just as speeding is risky — but she can't guarantee she will never speed — or stop texting and driving because it is so convenient to put her cell phone on the wheel and text a quick message with two fingers.

As of Jan. 1, New Hampshire, Oregon and Illinois will join more than a dozen other states, the District of Columbia and Guam in having bans on sending text messages while driving, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. New Hampshire's law also bans Twittering, typing on laptop computers or electronic devices while driving. An exception is made for entering a name and number in a cell phone to make a call.

The texting ban succeeded where numerous attempts to ban cell phone use while driving have failed in New Hampshire.


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