Legislation sponsored by Senator Kristin M. Corrado that would allow individuals diagnosed with a communication disability, or an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), to indicate that status on their driver’s license was approved today by the New Jersey Senate.
“Over the last year and a half, I have been contacted by constituents with communication disabilities that say they have difficulty explaining their condition to law enforcement during vehicle traffic stops,” said Corrado (R-40). “This legislation will help alleviate that issue by allowing people with special needs to have that designation printed directly onto their license. This important information will assist law enforcement officials in identifying, and effectively communicating with, individuals with ASD during vehicle stops.”
The bill, S-761, will help law enforcement and first responders interact with those who have conditions that can make them difficult to understand or appear to be uncooperative. The decision to add the designation to a driver’s license or non-driver identification card is voluntary.
“The stress of being pulled over or being involved in an accident can make it even more difficult for some individuals to express themselves clearly,” added Corrado. “This bill will increase understanding for police and emergency personnel and help ensure a peaceful resolution.”
Corrado’s legislation requires written guidance to be distributed to each police department in the state, which is designed to assist law enforcement officers in effectively communicating with a person diagnosed with a disability.