TOPEKA — The governor on Monday signed a bill that bans all drivers from texting while driving.
The measure allows law enforcement officers to pull over drivers who are sending, receiving or reading text messages or e-mails on their wireless devices.
Until Jan. 1, officers will be handing out warning tickets, but after that the offense will come with a $60 fine.
"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 Gov. Mark Parkinson, a Democrat, in a written statement.
The measure, which was passed in the final days of the session, also:
* Creates a $60 fine for covering a vehicle's license plate with any material that affects the plate's visibility or reflectivity.
* Bars people younger than 18 from operating or riding a motorcycle or motorized bike without a helmet or eye protection.
* Extends the operational life of a school bus from 20 to 25 years.
The law goes into effect when it is published in the Kansas Register, which is published every Thursday.
Parkinson also signed a bill that modifies the state's drunken-driving laws.
Under the new law, which goes into effect upon publication in the Kansas Register, drivers convicted of a second DUI will face a year-long suspension of their driving privileges.
After 45 days, the suspension can be modified to allow the driver to drive in a car with an ignition interlock device to and from work, school, treatment and to the interlock provider.
After the first year, the driver would not be restricted in where they could drive, but would have to keep the ignition interlock device on the car for another 12 months.