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Senate Passes SB 436, Enhancing Penalties for Distracted Driving

Contact Name: Sara Persechino

Phone: (603) 271-3479

Email: Sara.Persechino@leg.state.nh.us

CONCORD – Today, the Senate passed SB 436 in a vote of 20-4. The bill establishes enhanced charges for those convicted of reckless driving, negligent driving or vehicular assault where the offense is based on facts involving the prohibited use of a mobile electronic device.

After the vote, prime Sponsor Senator Shannon Chandley (D-Amherst) issued the following statement:

“Texting while driving has been illegal since Jan. 1, 2010. Yet every one of us will probably see someone texting while driving on the way home from here. For 10 years, a significant portion of our population has been ignoring the law. It is time for a cultural change.

SB 436 puts teeth in the laws that we have. It does not change the expectation of the behavior one should demonstrate while operating a many thousand pound vehicle at breakneck speed. It simply says that when you violate the safety standards that we know to be necessary and your behavior results in an accident, the penalty should be proportional.

I am grateful for the hard work done by the bill’s advocates and by my colleagues in the Senate on this important issue.

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