BOSTON—Massachusetts drivers who text behind the wheel are facing a new state law with hefty fines as the state joins the nationwide move to limit distracted driving.
The new law taking effect Thursday also prohibits scanning the Internet on a phone or mobile device while driving and bans anyone under 18 from talking on a cell phone while driving. Violators will face fines ranging from $100 for a first offense and up to $500 for repeat offenses.
Officials from state tranportation and public safety agencies gathered in Weymouth on Wednesday to remind drivers about the law.
Gov. Deval Patrick said texting while behind the wheel of a car is "seriously unsafe."
Massachusetts is the 30th state to introduce a texting ban.