In July of 2010, Paul Miller was driving on Rt. 33 in Hamilton Township, PA when a tractor-trailer crossed the divider and hit him head-on. The driver admitted to being distracted by his cell phone when the crash happened and Miller later died at the age of 21 due to the injuries he suffered from the crash.
Eileen Miller, the mother of Paul Miller, has been working with Pennsylvania State Representatives for several years on legislation to prohibit the use of cell phones while driving. Pennsylvania legislators are now reintroducing a distracted driving bill that has recently been referred to the House Transportation Committee.
The legislation proposes a number of safety initiatives including making driving a vehicle while holding any electronic device, regardless of a driver’s age, a primary offense subject to a fine of $100 and no points on a driver’s license. Texting while driving fines will double from $50 to $100 and cell use would only be allowed when a vehicle is parked on the side of the road. The legislation would also require a parent or guardian to certify that their child has viewed educational materials about the risks of distracted driving before receiving their driver’s license. If the child passes, they would receive a warning for texting and drive for the first six months they have their license.
PA representative Steve Malagri states, “Almost every one of Pennsylvania’s neighboring states enacted driver responsibility laws to not allow mobile device use while driving. It’s time that Pennsylvania catches up to make our roadways safer.”
The time to make our roadways safer is now. Communities, especially young drivers, need to be educated on the risks of distracted driving, and laws or legislation that reprimands the use of a cell phone while driving need to be put in place. We cannot let another senseless tragedy take away one more innocent individual like Paul Miller.
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