N.H. considering banning text messaging while driving

01/23/08 6:39AM

New Hampshire is debating making it illegal for drivers to send text messages on cell phones or type on laptop computers.

But, drivers could still talk on a cell phone while driving.

Assistant Safety Commissioner Earl Sweeney told a House committee yesterday that state troopers see far too many people driving down the highway paying absolutely no attention to their driving as they send and receive text messages.

Sweeney supported the bill and the $100 fine it would impose on offenders.

The state already has a law allowing police to ticket distracted drivers. But witnesses at the hearing said that law doesn't do enough. They described seeing drivers using their knees to hold the wheel while sending text-messages on tiny cellphone keyboards.

Other states are considering similar legislation, including Massachusetts. In a recent case there, a 13-year-old boy died, allegedly as a result of a man driving an SUV while text-messaging.

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