New Hampshire Rules of the Road (All You Need to Know)

New Hampshire Rules of the Road (2)

There are LOTS of road rules in New Hampshire. 

And it’s important to obey these rules to avoid getting those annoying tickets. 

We’re here to help. 

In this article, we’ll be going over 7 New Hampshire rules of the road. These include:

  • Distracted driving laws
  • Speed limits
  • Parking laws
  • Helmet laws
  • Loading laws
  • Towing laws
  • Crash laws

Knowing these laws can help you:

  • Ace your New Hampshire knowledge test
  • Be a safe and responsible driver
  • Avoid annoying tickets and violations

So are you ready?

Let’s go!

New Hampshire Distracted Driving Laws

New Hampshire Rules of the Road

Driving requires your full attention. 

Unfortunately, there are so many things that distract us. 

Case in point — your phone. 

This is the number one distraction as it (1) keeps your eyes off the road, (2) removes your hand from the steering wheel, and (3) distracts your mind from your driving tasks. 

It’s no wonder the State of New Hampshire implemented a distracted driving law stating…

“You cannot use a handheld electronic communication device while operating a vehicle.”

In simpler terms, you can’t use your mobile phone while driving in New Hampshire. This includes:

  • Viewing, reading, writing, or sending an SMS or email
  • Calling someone or receiving a call
  • Typing in your destination in your navigational system
  • Searching the internet or scrolling through social media platforms

There are a few exceptions, though. 

For one, you can use your phone during an emergency. 

Another exception is if you use a hands-free feature to send and receive messages and calls. Just note that this exception is only for 18-year-olds and older. 

And the penalties for breaking this law? 

  • $100 for your first violation
  • $250 for your second violation within 24 months
  • $500 for your third and subsequent violation within 24 months
  • May face license suspension or revocation

New Hampshire Speed Limits

Speed limits in New Hampshire aren’t as straightforward as in other states. 

What we mean is that there are speed limits posted, but these presume only under ideal conditions. So when the weather is unfavorable, or there are other circumstances, the allowable limit may change. 

In ideal situations, though, the maximum speed limits in New Hampshire are:

  • 70 mph from mile marker 45 to Vermont on the I-93
  • 65 mph on the interstate, and the central New Hampshire and eastern New Hampshire turnpikes
  • 45 or 55 mph in other locations
  • 35 mph in rural residence districts
  • 30 mph in business and urban residential districts
  • 10 mph below the posted speed limit in school zones

NOTE: Driving too slow can also impede traffic. And there are speed limits that also tell you the minimum speed you can go. For example, the slowest you can go on the interstate is 45 mph.

Going beyond the allowable speed limits results in fines. However, the amount varies depending on how much you exceed it.

The table below details this.

Besides fines, you’ll also get points on your driving record. 

New Hampshire Parking Laws

When it comes to parking, the ultimate goal is to avoid turning your vehicle into a road hazard.

For example, if you’re parking along a rural highway, you must be off the paved portion. If your vehicle can’t fit the off-paved section, place it as far off to the side as you can. You must also ensure you leave enough space for others to pass.

Sometimes, you’ll have to park along a roadway. In these situations, keep the following things in mind:

  • Keep your vehicle safe. Turn your engine off and remove the key from the ignition. Don’t forget to lock your car if you’re leaving it unattended.
  • Ensure your vehicle won’t move. Leaving it in park mode (or in gear for manual transmissions) isn’t enough. Make sure you enable your parking brakes, too. It’s also best to turn your wheels toward the curb, especially if you’re on a hill.
  • Watch out for other vehicles. If opening your door to traffic, be extra careful. 

Some areas prohibit parking altogether. 

Here is a list of the no-parking zones n New Hampshire: 

  • On a sidewalk, crosswalk, or intersection
  • On a bridge or in a tunnel
  • In front of a driveway
  • Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant
  • Within 20 feet of the intersection or a crosswalk
  • 20 feet of a fire station or 75 feet (if you’re across the street)
  • Within 30 feet of a stop or yield sign or a traffic signal
  • Within 50 feet of the nearest rail of a railroad crossing
  • In a street that makes your vehicle obstructs traffic
  • On a designated disabled parking slot unless you are a disability permit holder
  • Beside an access aisle

If you park in these zones, you will face these fines:

  • $62 for your first offense
  • $124 for each offense after
  • $310 if parking in a designated disabled parking slot without a disability permit

New Hampshire Helmet Laws

The New Hampshire Helmet Law (or the lack of it thereof) does NOT require motorcycle riders over 18 years old to wear a helmet. 

New Hampshire is one of three states that do not require helmets (the other states are Illinois and Iowa).

However, those under 18 years old must wear DOT-approved helmets. 

Not doing so may result in a $43.20 fine.

Although adult riders don’t get penalties for not wearing a helmet, it doesn’t mean they get off scot-free. You’re more likely to suffer serious injuries (or worse) if you crash. 

So even if it isn’t required, it’s still better to wear one for protection. 

New Hampshire Loading Laws

Most commercial vehicles haul various loads within New Hampshire or across state lines. 

And under the Loading Law, every commercial driver must ensure their loads are properly secured before traveling. 

You can only consider a load to be secured if there is no chance it will slide, shift, fall, or airborne during the trip. 

Remember, driving with unsecured loads poses several risks, such as:

  • Projectile objects: Your load may fly into another vehicle’s windshield and cause a crash, injuries, and even death.
  • Road debris: Even if it doesn’t hit anyone, it becomes a road obstacle.
  • Destabilization: You’re more likely to lose control of your vehicle if your load is unsecured, leading to accidents.

As for penalties, they will be decided by the court should anything happen. 

New Hampshire Towing Laws

For commercial drivers that operate combination vehicles, you must always observe the New Hampshire towing laws. 

This law states that your trailer must meet the following standards:

  • Its wheels must be mounted, protected by mudguards or fenders, and inflated.
  • Your trailer has a proper tail 
  • The trailer should have stop and turn signals
  • Your trailer should have lamps for the plates and side markers
  • The trailer should have reflectors 

New Hampshire Crash Laws

If you’re involved in a car crash, you must file an accident report to the DMV within 15 days if the following is true: 

  • It resulted in injury or a fatality.
  • It resulted in property damage amounted to more than $1,000 (if you’re not sure about the amount, it’s better to be safe and file a report)

However, if law enforcement investigates the crash and the officer on the scene files a report, you won’t have to.

The Wrap Up

And that was the New Hampshire rules of the road. 

Now you have the information you need to be a safe and responsible driver. 

So always make sure that you follow ALL these laws. It’s not just to avoid the penalties and tickets, it’s also to ensure safety for everyone. 

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