CONCORD, N.H. --- New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch on July 31 signed into law a bill making New Hampshire the 15th state to ban text messaging while driving. 

The law also prohibits drivers from typing on laptop computers or other electronic devices while operating a vehicle. An exception is made for entering a name and number into a cell phone to make a call. 

The new law takes effect Jan. 1. 

The state Senate failed to pass a similar bill last year. However, sentiment on the issue changed after a trolly accident in Massachusetts was blamed on the operator texting his girlfriend before the crash. 

Texting violators face a $100 fine. The fine for negligent driving is a minimum of $250 and a maximum of $500 for a first offense.