AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texting while driving is now illegal in Texas.

The texting ban, which went into effect September 1, ends a decade-long effort by safety advocates to reduce potentially deadly driver distractions on the road.

Texas joins 47 other states that have similar laws. Texting will be punishable by a fine of up to $99 for first-time offenders and $200 for repeat offenses. The ban covers texting only, not other Internet use such as map applications.