October 20, 2017

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Ask A Trooper

What should I do if I am being pulled over while traveling on the Interstate or Turnpike?

If you are being pulled over by a State Trooper please pull over as soon as it’s safe far enough into the right hand breakdown lane giving yourself and the Trooper ample room for safety.  If for some reason it is unsafe to pull over into the right hand break down lane then pull over to the left hand side, pulling over to the left should be used as a last resort.  After pulling over please keep your hands on the steering wheel as the Trooper upon approach will be cautious for his safety.  If it is nighttime and you can turn on the interior light without too much movement inside your vehicle then do so.  Traffic stops are extremely dangerous and unwanted movement inside the vehicle will heighten the Troopers sense of safety.    

 Where do I go to get a copy of an accident report?

Complete a RELEASE OF MOTOR VEHICLE RECORDS (DSMV 505) . Appear or mail with the applicable fee to:

DOS DVM
FR Crash Unit
23 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03305
(603) 271-2128

http://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/dmv/forms/dsmv505.pdf

What are the speed limits in New Hampshire?

RSA 265:60 states…

265:60 Basic Rule and Maximum Limits. –
    I. No person shall drive a vehicle on a way at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. In every event speed shall be so controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle, or other conveyance on or entering the way in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.
    II. Where no hazard exists that requires lower speed for compliance with RSA 265:60, I, the speed of any vehicle not in excess of the limit specified in this section or established as hereinafter authorized shall be prima facie lawful, but any speed in excess of the limit specified in this section or established as hereinafter authorized shall be prima facie evidence that the speed is not reasonable or prudent and that it is unlawful:
       (a) In a posted school zone, at a speed of 10 miles per hour below the usual posted limit from 45 minutes prior to each school opening until each school opening and from each school closing until 45 minutes after each school closing.
       (b) 30 miles per hour in any business or urban residence district as defined in RSA 259:118;
       (c) 35 miles per hour in any rural residence district as defined in RSA 259:93, and on any class V highway outside the compact part of any city or town as defined in RSA 229:5, IV;
       (d) 55 miles per hour in other locations, except as provided in (e);
       (e) 65 miles an hour on the interstate system, the central New Hampshire turnpike and the eastern New Hampshire turnpike in locations where said highways are 4-lane divided highways or other divided highways of 4 or more lanes.
       (f) On a portion of a highway where officers or employees of the agency having jurisdiction of the same, or any contractor of the agency or their employees, are at work on the roadway or so close thereto as to be endangered by passing traffic, at a speed of 10 miles per hour below the usual posted limit, but in no case greater than 45 miles per hour. The speed shall be displayed on signs as required by RSA 265:6-a.
       (g) For a vehicle equipped with a transponder, 25 miles per hour through a toll booth or gate that is equipped with a transponder reader for automated toll collection except for an open road tolling lane and except that at toll booths staffed by toll collectors drivers whose vehicles are not equipped for automated tolling shall come to a full stop at the toll booth so that the attendant may collect the toll.
       (h) In the toll collection area of an open road tolling lane, at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent for the conditions and actual and potential hazards existing at the time or greater than a per se maximum speed of 65 miles per hour, whichever is less.
    III. The limits specified in subparagraphs II(e) and II(g) shall be the maximum lawful speed and no person shall drive a vehicle on said ways at a speed in excess of such maximum limit. The prima facie speed limits set forth in this section may be altered as authorized in RSA 265:62.
    IV. The driver of every vehicle shall, consistent with requirements of paragraph I, drive at an appropriate reduced speed when approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hillcrest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway, and when special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic by reason of weather or highway conditions.

Can I use my cell phone while driving?

NEW HANDS-FREE ELECTRONIC DEVICE LAW IS NOW IN EFFECT

What does this mean?
  • No use of hand-held electronic devices capable of providing voice or data communication while driving or temporarily halted in traffic for a stop sign or traffic signal or other momentary delays
  • This includes cell phones, GPS, tablets, iPods, iPads or other devices that require data entry
  • Emergency calls to 911 or other public safety agencies will be allowed
  • Bluetooth or other hands-free electronic devices will be allowed
  • One hand non-cellular 2-way radio use will be allowed
  • Teen drivers under the age of 18 will not be allowed to use any electronic devices (hand-held or not) except to report an emergency. Anyone violating this will be subject to penalties and license suspension or revocation.
  • If your vehicle is not equipped with Bluetooth functionality, auto service centers can install after-market systems or over the ear devices can be purchased at retailers such as Staples, Best Buy or your cell phone carrier.
Penalties for Violations
  • 1st Offense   $100 fine
  • 2nd Offense  $250 fine
  • 3rd Offense within 2 years  $500 fine

Penalty assessments will be added to the fines

 Why is the NH Law Important?
  • During the past 4 years, 116 fatal crashes in New Hampshire were caused by distraction
  • The increasing use of electronic devices is fast becoming the primary distraction
  • While texting, a driver is 23 times more likely to crash
  • Sending or receiving a text distracts the driver for almost 5 seconds
  • At 50 miles per hour, we travel longer than the length of a football field during that 5 seconds
  • Even dialing a phone number increases the risk of crashing by 3 times

HANDS ON THE WHEEL, EYES ON THE ROAD

Are child restraints required?

RSA 265:107-a states…

265:107-a Child Passenger Restraints Required. –
    I. No person shall drive a motor vehicle on any way while carrying as a passenger a person less than 18 years of age unless such person is wearing a seat or safety belt which is properly adjusted and fastened. Except as provided in paragraph II, no person shall drive a motor vehicle on any way while carrying as a passenger a person less than 18 years of age unless the motor vehicle was designed for and equipped with child passenger restraints in accordance with the safety standards approved by the United States Department of Transportation in 49 C.F.R. section 571.213.
    I-a. No person who is less than 18 years of age shall drive a motor vehicle on any way unless such person is wearing a seat or safety belt which is properly adjusted and fastened.
    I-b. No person shall drive a motor vehicle on any way while carrying as a passenger a person less than 6 years of age unless such passenger is properly fastened and secured by a child restraint system which is in accordance with the safety standards approved by the United States Department of Transportation in 49 C.F.R. section 571.213. If the passenger is 55 inches or more in height, the provisions of this paragraph shall not apply.
    II. A person shall not be guilty of a violation of this section if the motor vehicle the person is driving is regularly used to transport passengers for hire, is a school bus weighing more than 10,000 pounds or is a school bus weighing less than 10,000 pounds that was manufactured without safety belts, or there is an individualized education program statement contraindicating the use of restraints, is a vehicle manufactured before 1968, is a motorcycle as defined in RSA 259:63 , is an antique motor car or motorcycle as defined in RSA 259:4, or is being operated in a parade authorized by law or ordinance, provided that the parade vehicle is travelling at a speed of no more than 10 miles per hour.
    III. Any driver who violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a violation, and shall be subject to the following fines:
       (a) $50 for a first offense.
       (b) $100 for a second or subsequent offense.
    IV. A violation of this section shall not be used as evidence of contributory negligence in any civil action.
    V. A conviction for violating the provisions of this section shall not preclude prosecution of any other offense for which violation of this section might constitute an element.
    VI. [Repealed.] 

Does New Hampshire have a move over law?

RSA 265:37-a states…

265:37-a Motorist Duties When Approaching Highway Emergencies. –When in or approaching an incident involving a fire, collision, disaster, or other emergency resulting in partial or complete blockage of a highway, or a location where a police officer has made a traffic stop, every driver other than the driver of an emergency response vehicle, shall:
    I. Maintain a reduced speed.
    II. Obey the directions of any authorized person directing traffic and of all applicable emergency signals and traffic control devices.
    III. Vacate as soon as possible any lane wholly or partially blocked.
    IV. Give a wide berth, without endangering oncoming traffic, to public safety personnel, any persons in the roadway, and stationary vehicles displaying blue, red, or amber emergency or warning lights.

What is a no passing zone in New Hampshire?

RSA 265:20 states…

265:20 Limitations on Overtaking on the Left. –No vehicle shall be driven to the left side of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction unless authorized by the provisions of this chapter and unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be completely made without interfering with the driving of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction or any vehicle overtaken. In every event the overtaking vehicle must return to an authorized lane of travel as soon as practicable and in the event the passing movement involves the use of a lane authorized for vehicles approaching from the opposite direction, before coming within 200 feet of any approaching vehicle.

Can vehicles pass on the right?

RSA 265:19 states…

265:19 When Overtaking on the Right is Permitted. –The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass on the right of another vehicle only under the following conditions:
    I. When the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn;
    II. Upon a roadway with unobstructed pavement of sufficient width for 2 or more lines of vehicles moving lawfully in the direction being traveled by the overtaking vehicle;
    III. The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle upon the right only under conditions permitting such movement in safety. Such movement shall not be made by driving off the roadway.

When are headlights required?

RSA 265:109 states…

265:109 Period of Lighting. –Every vehicle or combination of vehicles, whether stationary or in motion, on any way or bridge, shall have attached to it a light or lights, which shall be so displayed as to be visible from the front and rear, during the period from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise.

When are you required to dim your headlights?

RSA 265:114 states…

265:114 Dimming Lights. –The driver of any vehicle upon approaching, overtaking or while following within a distance of approximately 150 feet of another vehicle on a way during the period from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise shall dim his headlights.

Is glass tinting allowed?

RSA 266:58-a states…

266:58-a Tinted Glass. –
    I. It shall be unlawful to sell or inspect any motor vehicle in this state which has after market tinting on the windshield or on the windows to the left and right of the driver.
    II. It shall be unlawful to install after market tinting on the windshield or on the windows to the left and right of the driver on any motor vehicle which is registered in this state.
    III. It shall be unlawful to drive on any way any motor vehicle registered in this state which has after market tinting on the windshield or on the windows to the left and right of the driver. Where after market tinting is applied to windows to the rear of the driver, outside rear view mirrors shall be required on both the left and right side of the vehicle for the use of the driver and a front seat passenger. The light transmittance of after-market tinted windows where they are allowed shall not be less than 35 percent, except that the light transmittance of aftermarket tinted rear windows of multipurpose passenger vehicles, as defined in 49 C.F.R. 571.3 and pickup trucks may be such percentage as is allowed by 49 C.F.R. 571.205 with respect to pre-market tinted rear windows.
    III-a. Persons who require for medical reasons after-market tinting on the windshield or on the windows to the left and right of the driver may apply for a special permit pursuant to RSA 266:61-a, IX.
    IV. The commissioner shall adopt rules under RSA 541-A relative to the administration and enforcement of this section.
    V. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit after-market tinting of the windshield of a vehicle with a strip not wider than 6 inches located at the very top of the windshield, provided that the light transmittance of the strip shall not be less than 35 percent.
    VI. Any natural person or any other person who violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a violation.

Is bumper height adjustment allowed?

RSA 266:9 states…

266:9 Height of Motor Vehicle Body and Chassis. –No person shall change the height of, or alter a bumper of, a private passenger vehicle so that the height of any horizontal bumper falls below the minimum distance of 16 inches or above the maximum distance of 20 inches. No person shall change the height of, or alter a bumper of, any vehicle other than a private passenger vehicle so that the height of any horizontal bumper falls below the minimum distance of 16 inches or above the maximum distance of 30 inches. Measurement shall be made from the level ground to the bottom of the bumper with tires inflated to manufacturer's maximum air pressure. If a vehicle is not commonly manufactured with a rear bumper, measurement shall be made to the bottom edge of the chassis frame siderails. No motor vehicle that has been changed or altered so as to exceed the limitations of this section shall be driven on any way without the prior approval of the director. For the purpose of this section, in addition to the definition contained in RSA 259:81, the term "private passenger vehicle'' shall mean a vehicle that has no provision for carrying a load other than a conventional trunk or the cargo area of a station wagon or similar type of vehicle.

Are alcoholic beverage containers in a vehicle allowed?

RSA 265-A:44 states…

265-A:44 Transporting Alcoholic Beverages. –
    I. The words "liquor'' and "beverage'' as used in this section shall have the same meanings as defined in RSA 175:1.
    II. Except as provided in paragraph V, no driver shall transport, carry, possess, or have any liquor or beverage within the passenger area of any motor vehicle upon any way in this state except in the original container and with the seal unbroken. Securely capped partially filled containers of liquor or beverages shall be stored and transported in the trunk of the motor vehicle. If the motor vehicle does not have a trunk, such containers shall be stored and transported in that compartment or area of the vehicle which is the least accessible to the driver.
    III. Except as provided in paragraph V, no passenger shall carry, possess, or have any liquor or beverage within any passenger area of any motor vehicle upon any way or in an area principally used for public parking in this state except in the original container and with the seal unbroken. Securely capped partially filled containers of liquor or beverages may be stored and transported in that compartment or area of the vehicle which is the least accessible to the driver.
    IV. A person who violates this section shall be guilty of a violation and shall be subject to a fine of $150. In addition, a person who violates paragraph II of this section may have his or her drivers' license, if a resident, or driving privilege, if a nonresident, suspended 60 days for a first offense and up to one year for a second or subsequent offense.
    V. This section shall not apply to persons transporting, carrying, possessing, or having any liquor or beverage in a chartered bus, in a taxi, or in a limousine for hire; provided, however, that the driver of any of said vehicles is prohibited from having any liquor or beverage in or about the driver's area.
    VI. For the purposes of this section only:
       (a) "Passenger area of any motor vehicle'' shall not include any section of a motor vehicle which has been designed or modified for the overnight accommodation of persons or as living quarters.
       (b) "Way'' shall mean the entire width between the boundary lines of any public highway, street, avenue, road, alley, park, or parkway, or any private way laid out under authority of statute, or any such way provided and maintained by a public institution to which state funds are appropriated for public use or any such way which has been used for public travel for 20 years. 

Can I drive in the left lane on the interstate?

RSA 265:16 states…

265:16 Drive on Right Side of Roadway; Exceptions. –
    I. Upon all roadways of sufficient width a vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the roadway, except as follows:
       (a) When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction under the rules governing such movement;
       (b) When an obstruction exists making it necessary to drive to the left of the center of the way; provided, any person so doing shall yield the right of way to all vehicles traveling in the proper direction upon the unobstructed portion of the way within such distance as to constitute an immediate hazard;
       (c) Upon a roadway divided into 3 marked lanes for traffic under the rules applicable thereon;
       (d) Upon a city street designated and signposted for one-way traffic.
    II. Upon all roadways any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
    III. Upon any roadway having 4 or more lanes for moving traffic and providing for 2-way movement of traffic, no vehicle shall be driven to the left of the center line of the roadway, except when authorized by official traffic control devices designating certain lanes to the left side of the center of the roadway for use by traffic not otherwise permitted to use such lanes, or except as permitted under I(b) hereof. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Page Last Updated: Feb 09, 2016 (04:37:48)
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