NASHVILLE, TN – The ban on texting while driving in Tennessee just needs Governor Phil Bresden's signature to become law. If he signs as expected, it would go into effect July 1, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

The state Senate April 30 concurred with a minor House amendment to the bill banning drivers from sending and reading text messages while their vehicle is in motion. That final legislative action sends the bill to Gov. Phil Bredesen to either sign into law, veto or allow to become law without his signature. Bredesen, who usually notifies lawmakers when he opposes legislation, has signaled no opposition to the texting ban.

Drivers who violate the law would be fined a maximum $50 plus no more than $10 in court costs. A violation would not add points against the driver's record under the state's point system that could ultimately result in suspension of his or her driver's license, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

The bill first passed the Senate 23-6 April 23 and the House 68-24 on April 27. The House added an amendment to clarify a provision that law enforcement officers and other emergency personnel are exempted from the texting ban only while discharging their official duties, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.