TOPEKA, KS - Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson on May 24 signed a bill into law that bans texting while driving on state roads.
The law prohibits a motor vehicle operator on a public road from using a wireless communication device to write, send or read a written communication.
The law includes exceptions for law enforcement and emergency service personnel; receiving emergency, traffic or weather-related messages; reporting illegal activity to law enforcement; and using a wireless communications device to make or receive a phone call.
Kansas joins 25 other states in banning text messaging by all drivers.
Law enforcement will be required to issue a warning citation for violations until Jan. 1, 2011. The fine for unlawful texting will be $60.
"As we head into Memorial Day weekend and the summer, one of the busiest driving times for Kansans, I am pleased to sign this legislation that will encourage more aware drivers and save Kansas lives," said Parkinson.
The legislation also prohibits the display of a vehicle license plate that is covered with any material that affects the plate's visibility or reflexivity. The fine for this violation is $60. Additionally, the bill makes it a violation of Kansas law to allow or permit a person under the age of 18 to operate or ride a motorcycle or motorized bike without a helmet or eye protection.
The law takes effect upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.