You are no longer allowed to use your smartphone to read, write, or send messages while driving in Texas. Violators of this law, which went into effect in September, face a misdemeanor charge and a fine of $25 to $99, with penalties of up to $200 for repeat offenders.

Are there exceptions?

If your vehicle is stopped, you can text and email. And while you’re driving, you can use your device for navigating, summoning emergency help, checking traffic and road conditions, and playing music.

What about talking on a phone?

The new law doesn’t prohibit talking on a hand-held phone (i.e, without Bluetooth) while driving. Therefore, talking on a hand-held phone remains legal unless your local ordinances prohibit or restrict such activity.

You can read the full text of the law on the Texas Legislature’s website.