Service to Community Award for Television – Large Market
After WKMG-TV news anchor Matt Austin was hit and seriously injured by a texting driver, the station initiated a relentless multi-faceted, multi-year campaign led by Austin to strengthen Florida’s texting and driving law. WKMG gathered stories from viewers, created partnerships with law enforcement and legislators and confronted those lawmakers who were creating roadblocks to a piece of legislation designed to save lives on Florida's roadways. After three years of work, on July 1, 2019, those efforts resulted in a new law, making texting and driving a primary offense. In the end, many legislators, including those who were originally against a more robust law, credit WKMG with being a major factor behind its passage.
Passage of Florida Statute Section 316.305 and 316.306.