My name is Mark Merwitzer. I am a 17-year-old high school student who has been working for the past 18 months with local and state legislators to make texting while driving a primary offense in the state of Florida.
This Tuesday I had the privilege of testifying before the Florida House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee in support of House Bill 33. House Bill 33 makes texting while driving a primary offense, which gives police officers the ability to pull over and issue citations to drivers who are texting behind the wheel. I have also been pushing Senate Bill 90, the Senate companion bill to House Bill 33 in the Senate Transportation Committee.
To push for this primary ban I have been working extremely closely with Miami-Dade County and other municipalities. By pushing them to pass urgings and hire lobbyist to support this initiative, the Florida legislature has seen a massive push from numerous local governments across Florida. Their voices are strongly considered as they contribute a tremendous amount to the state tax pool.
With this amount of heavy support, texting while driving is highly likely to become a primary offense this year. I feel I am knowledgeable about the Florida political climate and what it is like to get a bill through the Florida Legislature.
Update: I am signing off for now. Thank you very much for all your questions. I will answer any questions you leave tomorrow.
Ellie Sherrard-Smith and Andrew Blagborough