Keep your heads up! Texting while driving in Texas will now get you slapped with a fine! This means no reading, writing, or sending messages while driving your vehicle UNLESS the vehicle is stopped. Doing so could get you cited with a fine of $25 to $99 for the first offense.

Governor Greg Abbottt signed the legislation HB 62 Tuesday marking Texas’ first statewide ban on handheld communications by motorists. The ban goes into effect Sept. 1. Austin proudly implemented the law back in 2014, leading the state towards a unification in refocused driving.

At first, the Senate was unsure about the bill’s specifics, claiming some of the ground rules were unrealistic. To appease their concern, Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, carved out exemptions to the legislation, making it legal to control a car’s stereo system and access a mapping program with a cellphone.

Texas was one of the few states left that didn’t have a general texting while driving ban. I can “safely” speak for all of Texans that we’re happy to join the club as 455 people were killed and more than 3,000 were injured in Texas last year as a result of distracted driving.

To read the full legislation, click here.