WKMG Anchor on Mission to Change Florida’s ‘Impotent Texting Law’

By Kevin Eck 

Last month WKMG anchor Matt Austin was taken off the air after a texting driver totaled his car.

Now Austin, who suffered a concussion in the accident, is on a mission to change what he calls Florida’s “impotent texting law.”

During last night’s 11 p.m. newscast, Austin told viewers police didn’t ticket the person who hit him because they didn’t see the other driver texting and he wants to change that.


“I don’t remember another station or anchor doing anything comparable,” WKMG news director Allison McGinley told the Orlando Sentinel’s Hal Boedeker. “Matt and News 6 are committed to making this happen in Florida. We know it will be a long battle, but we believe our community is ready to stand with us to get results. Already the reaction has been substantial. We’ve received dozens of emails, Facebook posts and comments sent to ClickOrlando filled with people angry about our laws and having their own dangerous experiences.”

She said Austin will be back with a follow-up story within two weeks and plans to do regular stories as the station works to change the laws with the community’s help.

“We’ve done stories in the past about our antiquated texting and driving laws, but this was such a personal experience for our entire newsroom, we felt we needed to do something to drive change and Get Results,” McGinley said, echoing the station’s Getting Results slogan.

Austin had been sitting at a red light when he was hit. He has said he was grateful that his baby daughter wasn’t in the car seat that “slammed violently into the back of my head.