Gov. Greg. Abbott signed HB 62 Tuesday, approving the state’s first ban on handheld communications by motorists. It brings an end to more than a decade of efforts by some lawmakers, notably State Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, and State Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo.
Previous attempts at texting bans either failed to get out of the legislature or fell to the governor’s veto pen.
The ban goes into effect Sept. 1. After then drivers may not use a phone to “read, write, or send an electronic message while operating a motor vehicle unless the vehicle is stopped.” If cited and found guilty, the offense comes with a fine of $25 to $99 for a first offense.