New Hampshire Rating: Danger

New Hampshire falls dangerously behind in adoption of Advocates’ recommended optimal laws, as reported in the 2019 Roadmap Report.

Highway Safety Laws Needed

  • Primary Enforcement Seat Belt Law (Front & Rear)
  • All-Rider Motorcycle Helmet Law
  • Rear Facing Through Age 2 Law
  • Booster Seat Law
  • GDL – Minimum Age 16 for Learner’s Permit
  • GDL – 6-Month Holding Period
  • GDL- Stronger Supervised Driving Requirement
  • GDL – Stronger Nighttime Restriction
  • GDL- Age 18 for Unrestricted License

Current Optimal Highway Safety Laws

  • GDL – 30-50 Hours Supervised Driving Provision
  • GDL – Passenger Restriction Provision
  • GDL – Cell Phone Restriction Provision
  • GDL – Age 18 for Unrestricted License
Ignition Interlock Law
  • Child Endangerment Law
  • Open Container Law
  • All-Driver Text Messaging Restriction

*States are credited with having laws only if their laws meet Advocates’ optimal criteria

Hot Now: Graduated Driver Licensing Laws

In 2017, 16 people were killed in crashes involving young drivers in New Hampshire.

The current GDL law in New Hampshire includes the following components:

  • A three-stage licensing system beginning at age 15 years and 6 months for learner’s permit, age 16 for the intermediate stage, and age 17 years and 1 month for full licensure
  • A minimum of 40 hours of supervised practice driving during the learner’s permit stage, 10 of which must occur at night
  • A prohibition on unsupervised nighttime driving between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. during the intermediate stage
  • A passenger restriction prohibiting more than one passenger younger than age 25 for the first 6 months after licensure
  • A prohibition on texting while driving for all drivers

These changes are needed to improve New Hampshire’s GDL law and meet optimal GDL provisions:

  • Require age 16 for entry into the learner’s permit stage
  • Require a 6-month holding period during the learner’s permit stage
  • Strengthen the passenger restriction to prohibit more than one non-familial passenger under the age of 21 unless a licensed driver over age 21 is in the vehicle, for the entire intermediate stage through age 17
  • Strengthen the prohibition on non-emergency use of hand-held and hands-free cell phones during the learner’s permit and intermediate stages.

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