New Hampshire becomes the 15th state to bar drivers from using hand-held cellphones while driving when the legislation takes effect next week.
The new ``hands-free'' law applies to all hand-held devices, including GPS units, tablets and laptops. Current law bans typing and sending text messages while driving but does not prohibit reading text messages, surfing the Internet, dialing cellphones or programming GPS devices.
Violators face a $100 fine for the first offense, $250 for a second offense and $500 for subsequent offenses within a 24-month period.
The law takes effect Wednesday.
Also Wednesday, the age at which minors can be charged as adults in criminal proceedings increases from 17 to 18. The new law still allows 17-year-olds to be charged as adults for certain serious felonies.