Delaware Gov. Jack Markell has signed a new law banning drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving, making Delaware the 30th state to pass such a law.
The law takes effect Jan. 1.

"Electronic devices are potentially lethal in the hands of any driver," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Thanks to Governor Markell, everyone who rides on Delaware's roads will be safer due to enactment of this strong measure."

In addition to restricting cell phone use, the new law also prohibits drivers from text messaging, sending or reading e-mails or browsing websites while a vehicle is in motion. First offenders face a $50 fine, while a second offense carries a fine of $100 to $200. The law is primary, meaning police can stop drivers if they suspect a violation of this law alone.

Recently, Secretary LaHood launched pilot programs in New York and Connecticut as part of a "Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other." campaign to study whether increased enforcement and public awareness can reduce distracted driving behavior.