Texas drivers with autism, deafness, PTSD and other communication challenges are receiving help. Now they will be able to make law enforcement aware ahead of time. For this reason, a new law for drivers with communication issues has been passed to thwart this stressful situation.
EASING STRESS DURING TRAFFIC STOPS
Communication can be difficult for someone with autism, the deaf, people with PTSD or Parkinson’s. It can also be difficult for someone with a simple speech impediment. In regards to autism spectrum disorder, the driver may not make eye contact and can struggle to communicate clearly, especially in stressful situations. An officer may view this as uncooperative or even under the influence of alcohol or drugs. So, this “suspicious” behavior could lead to additional stressful field tests and possibly even lead to their arrest.
THE SAMUEL ALLEN LAW
Senate Bill 976 “The Samuel Allen Law” hopes to give those drivers with conditions which may affect their ability to communicate a chance to have stress free interactions with law enforcement. This law gives people the option to disclose their diagnoses with the TXDMV (Texas Department of Motor Vehicles) when registering their vehicle. While the handicapped may have a symbol on their license plates, other conditions are not immediately apparent.
Highly functioning people with health issues, like all others, still have normal, everyday requirements such as driving to work or school. Even someone with severe diabetes or a heart issue should disclose this so that an officer will be better equipped to handle a particular traffic stop in a specialized way. Most law enforcement officers are now trained paramedics who know to look for signs and know how to deal with them.
Until next week…
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
NEW LAW FOR DRIVERS WITH COMMUNICATION ISSUES – Comedy Defensive Driving