"One quick look at your phone to read a text is simply not worth it," Tomblin said. "Too many people have been hurt, and too many lives have been lost because of a text message."
The law went into effect July 1, giving police the authority to pull over drivers seen texting.
Handheld phone calls are also illegal, but they are currently considered a secondary offense. That means police will have to pull over a driver for some other violation to cite them for that violation.
Beginning July 1 of next year, police also will be able to pull drivers over for making phone calls.
Taylor said he hopes the new law saves parents and students from the pain the school has felt this week.
"No parent should have to bury their child; that's just tragic," he said.
Crouser said texting and driving is a problem among adults as well as teens.
"I'm hoping that not only kids, but parents and adults, too, will learn that texting and driving is not safe and that roads will be safer if they don't do that," he said.
Anyone ticketed for using a phone while driving faces a fine of $50 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense and $200 for third and subsequent offenses.
Drivers can make phone calls or send text messages under the new law, but only if they use hands-free accessories and applications like Bluetooth or Siri.
In addition to encouraging people to sign the safe driver pledge, which is on the governor's website, Tomblin also said the state Department of Transportation would broadcast safety messages along state roadways Wednesday.
Transportation officials programmed the electronic message boards along state highways to read "Drive. Hands-Free. Don't Text and Drive." They were displayed between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Contact writer Jared Hunt at jared.h...@dailymail.com or 304-348-5148.