Paul Miller Jr.’s mom speaks on new law, named after son, banning use of phones while driving in Pa.

The moment Gov. Josh Shapiro signed the hand-held device ban into law was overwhelming for Eileen Miller.

“Extremely emotional, overwhelmed, thrilled, cried a lot,” Miller told Channel 11′s Andrew Havranek. “It’s been a long hard road. Yesterday was kind of everything I envisioned it would be.”

Miller’s son, Paul Miller Jr., died in 2010 when a semi-truck driver, who was distracted, crashed into him on the highway.

>> Gov. Shapiro signs law banning use of phones while driving in Pennsylvania

“I would do anything to be able to hold my son again or talk to him,” Miller said.

She still grieves the loss of her son. But, she wanted to turn tragedy to good and work with lawmakers to ban the use of handheld devices.

“To me it was always about saving lives on our roadways. Always, always, always,” Miller said.

The bill – named Paul Miller’s Law – will allow police to ticket drivers for using their cell phones while driving.

That is different than the texting-while-driving ban already in effect. It will ban the use of cell phones, or any handheld devices while driving for any reason if not in a hands-free mode.

“Now people are zooming, people are TikToking, people are scrolling social media, people are emailing, and it’s not one second that their eyes are off the road, it’s a lot longer than that,” Miller said.

Breaking this law will cost you.

Starting in June 2026, police will be able to write you a $50 ticket if they catch you using your phone or device while in your hands while driving.

In June 2025, they’ll only issue a warning.

Until then, it’s all about teaching drivers about the change.

“I think that it gives plenty of time for the public to catch up with buying something really cheap to hold your phone, utilizing your car and connecting your phone through Bluetooth,” said Trooper Steve Limani of the Pennsylvania State Police. “You can still listen to music, you can still use it for directions, we’re just asking you to not have it in your hands.”

Miller said she will continue to fight for stiffer penalties for distracted driving, but is happy this law is officially on the books.

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