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Hearing on distracted driving legislation held at Statehouse

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Distracted driving legislation was at the center of a public hearing at the Capitol. The hearing happening just a day after numbers from Pennsylvania courts show distracted driving is on the rise in the Keystone state.

According to the Pennsylvania State Police in 2016, distracted driving was the reason 69 people were killed.

"Everybody on the road when they're driving, their one and only task is to just drive, just get in that car and get from 'A' to 'B,'" said Eileen Miller, whose son died by a distracted driver in 2010. "Nobody gets in that car and just drives. Everybody is always on their phones."

Miller testified in front of the Transportation Committee on behalf of her son, Paul Miller. He was struck by a tractor trailer driver who was reaching for a cell phone when he swerved into oncoming traffic. From the impact of the accident, Paul's body was dragged outside the vehicle.

"That's no way you should ever view your child in your life," said Miller.  "To view them at a morgue, where you can't even identify him. They had him in a body bag with just his head and I couldn't even identify him. I had to tell the coroner I had to unzip the body bag to look at his clothes from the night before."

Miller is begging lawmakers to support and pass House Bill 1684, which would ban drivers from using hand held phones. It's a law similar to what 16 other states including New York and New Jersey have passed.

"Please pass this bill. Do it. I can't beg anymore," said Miller.  "In memory of my son and all the people that have died and injured due to distracted driving, I'm begging you to pass this bill from my heart."