ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — A North Texas city has issued few tickets since it started enforcing its driving-while-texting ban a year ago.

Arlington police say they've issued 49 citations to drivers using phones for extended periods of time since last Thanksgiving. They say verbal warnings are far more common -- and that's led to safer roads.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that San Antonio, Austin and El Paso have similar ordinances.

The Texas Legislature passed a texting-while-driving ban in 2011, but Gov. Rick Perry vetoed it.

Statewide, the only ban is on cellphone use in school zones.

Texas Department of Transportation statistics show that more than 81,000 crashes in Texas last year involved a distraction in the vehicle, driver inattention or cellphone use -- and 361 of those wrecks were fatal.