Palmetto Bay Mayor and Councilwoman Join Miami Dade College and SAS Students in Demanding “Texting While Driving” Ban March 7

Miami, March 6, 2018- Palmetto Bay Mayor Eugene Flinn and Palmetto Bay Councilwoman Karyn Cunningham will join students at Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Wolfson Campus and the School for Advanced Studies (SAS) on Wednesday, March 7, at noon, to address the issue of teen roadway and driving safety, and demand the Florida Senate pass legislation to ban texting while driving in order to save lives.

The Florida House recently voted to pass legislation to make texting while driving a primary offense but the bill has met opposition in the Senate.  Event organizer Mark Merwitzer, is a Palmetto Bay resident and Miami-Dade County Public Schools senior at the SAS, a top high school in the U.S. with locations at five MDC campuses.  He has been advocating for the bill after seeing fellow teens and adults texting while driving,

In 2016, when Merwitzer was only 16 years old, he began working with local and state lawmakers to make texting while driving a primary offense. With strong backing from the youth and local municipalities, Merwitzer brought the issue to the Miami-Dade County Commission which has agreed to make it a top legislative priority for the past two years.

“This legislation will save countless young lives and make our roads safer for all Floridians,” Merwitzer said.  “It is imperative that the Senate hears the measure before the end of session. Young lives depend on it. How can we have a serious discussion about protecting children in schools if we cannot even protect them on our roads?”

Texting while driving is a leading contributor for injuries and death for teen drivers. According to the CDC, six teens, ages 16-19, die every day from motor vehicle injuries. In 2015, nearly 2,500 teens in the United States were killed and 221,313 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes in 2014.

To combat this epidemic, 46 states have banned texting while driving and made it a primary offense. Florida is one of the only four states that bans it as a secondary offense. Every state that has banned texting while driving as a primary offense has seen a decrease in fatalities in motor vehicle deaths.

For more information, contact Dennis Lindsay, SAS Media Relations Coordinator, 305-237-0518,