Rep. Frederick helps spearhead assistance for drivers with communication difficulties

Categories: Frederick News,News

State Rep. Ben Frederick today applauded advancement of a trio of bills which will help both law enforcement and those with communication impediments during routine traffic stops or emergencies.

The bipartisan legislation – which Frederick had earlier helped to develop in the House – creates a designation for people who have difficulty communicating, which would be included in information law enforcement sees when asking for and reviewing personal identification – such as vehicle registration, driver’s license or state ID. The communication difficulties covered in the proposals include deafness or hearing loss and autism.

Frederick, who has two young children with special needs, says the proposal will help curtail potential issues when such interactions occur.

“This plan offers more peace of mind to both parties when there’s a traffic stop and this situation presents itself,” Frederick said. “It complements increased training we are seeing among law enforcement agencies in this area. The experience is also potentially less traumatic for the individual if communication barriers are discovered at the initiation of contact.”

In order to receive the designation, a person must provide certification from a physician, physician assistant, certified nurse practitioner or physical therapist.

House Bill 5541, which Frederick co-sponsored, has been sent to the governor for review along with Senate Bills 278-79.