Database would help police communicate with drivers with disabilities

Database would help police communicate with drivers with disabilities
(Source: WTOL)
A new bill is making its way through the Ohio statehouse that would give people with disabilities who are pulled over by police a way to communicate with officers, before they even approaches the car.
Sponsored by Wood County representative Theresa Gavarone, the hope is that officers won't assume anything suspicious is going on if a driver is reacting differently.
The idea for this bill began when a Walbridge mother came to Gavarone and expressed fear about her child getting pulled over.

"Her son, having autism, may not communicate appropriately with law enforcement, possibly leading the officer to believe he may be impaired, said Representative Gavarone.

Any driver with a communication disability could get a note from their doctor, and take it in to the BMV.
This would then be put in the database that police use to run license plates.

"The idea with this bill is to give law enforcement more information as they approach a vehicle, which will enhance safety for the person in the vehicle as well as law enforcement, said Gavarone.

Gavarone says one huge part of this is that other drivers wouldn't be able to tell.
There wouldn't be anything on the license plate, nothing hanging in the window and there wouldn't even be anything on the driver's license.

"It works behind the scenes so that there is no stigma or no label on that car or that individual, said Gavarone.

This bill passed unanimously in the House, and is awaiting a vote in the Senate.


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