Bill signed into law helping those with communication disabilities during traffic stops

Bill signed into law helping those with communication disabilities during traffic stops
(Source: Raycom)

WOOD COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - After more than a year, a bill aiming at helping those with communication disabilities deal with law enforcement was just signed into law.

This came after a mom from Walbridge was worried about her autistic sons communicating with police officers if they were pulled over.

Wood County State Representative Theresa Gavarone worked with the mother to create a system notifying officers if someone has a disability by looking up their license plate.

"Anything we can do to give law enforcement additional information during a traffic stop, they have a split second to make a decision and if we can give them a heads up that it may not be a typical stop, I think it makes it safer for people all around," said Republican State Rep. Gavarone.

The mother Gavarone worked with in particular had a concealed carry license, and was worried if a law enforcement officer saw that it would make them even more on edge about the lack of communication.

This does not show up physically on licenses or license plates and is completely confidential.

This covers illnesses such as PTSD, Parkinson's, deafness, diabetes, autism, etc, anything that would impact a driver's ability to communicate.

Patients need doctors to fill out a form, bring it to the BMW, and then it will be entered into a database.

Gavarone said this works entirely behind the scenes, making sure no one in the general public would be able to tell.

When the police officer runs the license plate, it will come up the driver has a communication disability. It does not say what the disability is.

After the driver's license is ran by the officer, the officer can then tell if it is the driver with the disability

This passed unanimously in the Ohio House of Representatives and Senate.

Gavarone said it should be available as an option soon.

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