MIAMI (CBS) – The Miami-Dade Expressway Authority is filming an emotionally-charged short film for its new safety campaign The Last Word which aims to generate awareness for the dangers of texting while driving.

“What we are asking for is basically to help us make our roadways the safest,” said the agency’s Communication Manager Cindy Polo-Serantes.

MDX hopes that by presenting the dangers of distracted driving in an online short, drivers in Miami and beyond will take the pledge to stop texting and driving. They hope ultimately that legislators will be moved to put laws in place prohibiting texting while driving.

Nicole Johnson lost a colleague and a friend while he was driving and talking on his cell phone; the he was talking to heard the crash.

“It was an eye opening experience,” she said.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2009 nearly 5,500 people were killed, 450,000 people injured, in crashes involving distracted driving; it’s estimated that 1 in 4 of
those incidents are cell phone related.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that in 2008 nearly 6,000 people died, more than half a million people were injured, in crashes associated with distractions of all types. Johnson said texting or being on a cell phone is not worth your life. She has one message, “Just wait. If you’re worried about a career opportunity think about the opportunities you will miss with your family and your loved ones for life.”

The campaign is expected to launch on May 1st.

The Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, a public entity and agency of the state of Florida, is funded almost entirely by toll revenue.


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