South Carolina’s Gov. Nikki Haley has signed a bill making it illegal for drivers to text while behind the wheel.
The law replaces previously passed texting and driving bans by various towns and counties across the state. According to the governor’s office the law went into effect immediately, but drivers will have a 180-day grace period during which only warnings will be issued.
South Carolina drivers will be allowed to text while legally parked or stopped, using a hands-free device or a GPS system, or requesting emergency help.
The penalty for violating the new law is currently a $25 fine. South Carolina is now the 49th state to adopt a texting and driving ban, with only Montana remaining.