The National Safety Council (NSC) has welcomed new legislature and praised Gov. Greg Abbott after Texas became the 47th state to pass a law prohibiting texting while driving.

Motor vehicle deaths in Texas rose an estimated 7 percent in 2016, with more than 3,700 people dying in crashes, according to preliminary NSC figures.

The NSC says strong laws are one of three key components to changing driver behavior, and coupling legislation with education and high-visibility enforcement is proven to work.

The NSC is now encouraging the three remaining states without texting bans for all drivers – Arizona, Missouri and Montana – to pass legislation immediately. The NSC will continue to work with Texas leaders and highway safety advocates to eliminate preventable crashes and save lives.