Los Lunas, N.M. – On July 17, Los Lunas will become the eighth New Mexico city to enact a law banning the use of a cell phone while driving. The village council voted on the ordinance that will take effect next month. The hope of the new law: to ensure safer roadways for motorists and reduce distracted driving.

In a press release on Tuesday, the Los Lunas Police Department outlined what would fall under the new law and the penalties individuals will face if they are found to be breaking it. For the first offense, violators will expect a fine of up to $50, a second offense of $100, and a third offense that will range between a minimum amount of $150 and a maximum not to exceed $500.

“I think it’s a good motivator to get people to stop texting especially it’s dangerous tickets people off their phones so that motivates people and I think it’s a good thing,” said Los Lunas resident Micaela Jones.

KRQE News 13 has not heard back from police on how they plan on handling those who violate the law and whether the effort will be gradual or immediate. Though, residents are hoping the effects of the law are pushed back.

“I think there should be a grace period I mean it’s gonna be an adjustment of the citizens to get used to everyone’s kind of struggling with the pandemic winding down anyways,” said Bradley Jones.

Of course, New Mexico has a law banning texting while driving. Over the years, state lawmakers have tried to pass laws banning the use of a phone without a hands-free device but have failed.