• Press


Sorrow Over Teen Death Sparks ‘TextLess Live More’ Campaign

Merritt Levitan was on a 3000-mile cross-country bicycle trip when the group of riders, mostly teenagers, was struck from behind on an Arkansas highway by a young driver who was distracted by texting.

A day later, on July 3, 2013, the 18-year-old scholar-athlete died of brain injuries at a medical center in Tennessee. But her legacy lives on in a nationwide campaign launched by her family and former classmates on the first anniversary of her death, TextLess Live More, which encourages young Americans to put down their electronic devices for a one day a month.

“On a positive level, young people rallied and thought there had to be a message that came from this,” Levitan’s mother, Anna Cheshire Levitan, told ABC News. “They recognize texting and driving can kill, but on a larger level, what does this mean for our generation? Are we so distracted we are losing sight of the real world in hopeful anticipation of the virtual world, which doesn’t exist?” – READ MORE


Fox News

TextLess Live More: Teen’s death from distracted driver inspires new ‘text less’ campaign

It was her last summer before college, and 18-year-old Merritt Levitan was set to embark on a big cross-country bike trip, riding from Charleston, S.C., to Santa Monica, Calif.

A lover of the outdoors, Merritt had been preparing for the 3,000-mile journey throughout her senior year, hoping to “unplug” from technology and be in tune with nature for a month and a half.  For her senior project, she even created a guidebook on how to train for such a long ride.

With everything ready to go, she made one final Facebook post on June 18, 2013 before she embarked on the trip.

“Leaving tomorrow to bike across the US with Overland Summers!” wrote Merritt, a recent graduate of Milton Academy near Boston, Mass.  “No phone or Internet or any other form of communication for 6 weeks.  Super excited!” – READ MORE

Boston Common Magazine

TextLess Live More Strives to Make the World a Better Place

After forgiving the motorist who killed their daughter, Anna and Richard Levitan turned their grief into a crusade against texting while driving.

The Levitan family in their Boston apartment.

It is, quite simply, unthinkable. The “what if” question that no parent wants to contemplate: What if my child died?

It was certainly not a question that Anna Cheshire Levitan—founder of 5th Street East Production Launch and a former executive editor of this magazine— and her husband, Richard, ever asked themselves. No, theirs was a reasonably charmed life, raising three children in a beautiful brownstone on Beacon Street and later in the leafy enclave of Milton, where the kids attended the prestigious private school Milton Academy.

Brilliant, adventurous, and unfailingly present, Merritt, their oldest daughter, was “extraordinary,” Anna says. She was not only a top student, but also an editor of the school newspaper, a four-year varsity athlete on the ski team, and a co-captain of the tennis team. Despite having been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 7, “she never let any obstacles stand in her way,” her mother adds.  READ MORE


Boston Globe

TextLess Live More Founders Honored “Merritt Levitan Hero Award”

Friends and family of Merritt Levitan gathered at Trinity Church on Tuesday night

for The Road Ahead, a reception for the Merritt’s Way Fund and its affiliated

campaign, TextLess Live More. Levitan was 18 when she died in 2013 after being hit by

a driver who was using his cellphone. Her parents, Anna Cheshire Levitan and

Rich Levitan, established the fund, which creates opportunities for young people,

and works with Merritt’s friends on the TextLess Live More campaign that aims to

prevent accidents caused by distracted drivers. Guests at the event included Kristina

and Lucy Lyons, and TextLess founders Abigail Lebovitz, Erika Lamere, and

Emeline Atwood.

The Brunswick News

TextLess Live More A Great Campaign

TextLess live more a great campaign

May 1, 2015

Students at Glynn Academy were asked this week to sign a pledge agreeing not to text on a cellphone while operating a moving motor vehicle. They were reminded of the potenial consequences of taking their concentration off the task at hand, driving safely, and the tragic permanence of a poor decision.

People have died in car collisions caused by others who attempted to divide their attention between the road ahead and the small lighted screen of text from a friend, family member or co- worker.

It’s a good campaign, TextLess Live More. Students at Glynn Academy got the message and signed the pledge.

At the very least, the dangers of texting while driving, which has been compared to exposing driver, passengers and others on the highway to the same risks as someone getting behind the wheel after imbibing a fifth of alcohol, is now ingrained in their minds.

Students should be reminded, and often, of the potential dangers that await drivers, young and not-so-young, who ignore the rules of safety. People, young and not-so-young, have lost their lives to daredevils who foolishly believed they could concentrate on words on a phone and traffic on the road simultaneously.

It’s a message young drivers should be reminded of often at home, especially new drivers. Theyshould not have to wait to get to school to hear that driving while textng is tantamount to playing “chicken” with their life and the life of everyone else in their vehicle and in their path.

Mom and dad should be instilling this warning in them, and not just because they feel it is the right thing to do. They should do it out of love for their children and respect for the lives of others.

They would not stand idly by while the child they love played a high-risk game of Russian roulette, and they should not stand idly by while their child engages in a high-risk game of texting while driving