The fight against distracted driving began in earnest in 2007, when smartphones with text message capabilities came into widespread use.
The Governors Highway Safety Association said Rainbow State drivers have been given a clear message.
"This action sends an important message to all Hawaii drivers: cell phone use and driving do not mix," GHSA Executive Director Barbara Harsha told USA Today.
Though 40 states ban text messaging while driving, two of the largest states in the nation -- Florida and Texas -- still permit the practice.
Harsha said stronger opposition to what many in those states regard as an intrusion on drivers will make it more difficult to enact text message bans.