New York State has passed a law banning the use of handheld devices for reading, typing and sending text messages while driving.

Effective Nov. 1, the new law makes New York the 18th state to enact such texting legislation. Text messaging while driving is already banned in Alaska, California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia. Other states, including Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Oregon, have similar legislation in place go into effect Jan. 1, 2010.

To view a list of states with cell phone and texting bans, click here.