DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – If you text and drive in the state of Texas you are now breaking the law. As of today, it is the law that you cannot read, write, or send text messages on a mobile phone while driving a vehicle in the Lone Star State.

Eyes down… fingers balancing a steering wheel and flying across a keypad, typing on a cell phone… it was a sight that had become common for Texas drivers but no more. Gov. Greg Abbott signed the statewide ban into law in June and ended a decade-long effort by safety advocates to reduce potentially deadly driver distractions on the road.

Driver James Hawkins said, “They should have done it a long time ago. People don’t need to be texting while they are driving.”

Texas will join at least 47 other states that have similar laws.

Anyone caught texting and driving will have to pay up. First-time offenders can be fined up to $99 and the citation cost is $200 for repeat offenders.

The ban only covers texting. You can still use your phone to play music or look at maps and drivers can still talk on their phone, but only using a hands-free device.

Drivers can text while sitting at a red light — but be sure your thumbs aren’t still busy when the light turns green.

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