Bill to prohibit use of hand-held devices while driving passes General Assembly

It’s now headed to Gov. Shapiro’s desk for signature

State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., chair of the PA House Transportation Committee, today announced that legislation (S.B. 37) that would prohibit the use of hand-held devices while operating a motor vehicle in Pennsylvania has passed both chambers of the General Assembly and is now on its way to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s desk for signature to become state law.

“The data shows that distracted driving is the cause for more crashes than driving under the influence now,” Neilson said. “In the past, we confronted DUIs with harsher penalties because we recognized the danger it caused.”

“I’m happy we did the work to get this bill passed and treated it with the same amount of alarm,” Neilson continued.

Under the legislation, the penalty is a summary offense: a $50 fine and no points on the driver’s license. The bill also promotes education efforts by requiring minors to learn about distracted driving and have at least one question on the driver’s exam be about distracted driving, Neilson explained.

“Today, Pennsylvania joins 26 states, including all of our border states, in recognizing the dangers that come with distracted driving by passing legislation that would include not only deterrents but an opportunity to get educated about the dangers of distracted driving in Pennsylvania,” Neilson said.

Neilson added that the bill is also known as Paul Miller’s law, after the son of Eileen and Paul Miller Sr., who died when a distracted driver hit his car head on, killing him and injuring several other vehicle occupants.

The Millers have said they have come to Harrisburg often to visit members of the General Assembly and advocate tirelessly for this legislation in honor of their son Paul so no other families must endure the pain of losing a loved one this way.