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Senate advances bill requiring notation on automobile registration indicating driver’s hearing impairment

The Legislation Will Increase Safety for Deaf Drivers and Police Officers

NEW JERSEY – The Senate Thursday approved legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho and Senator Linda Greenstein that would add a notation on vehicle registration certificate indicating the registrant is deaf.

The bill, (S-1740), would help eliminate possible confusion and tension when a deaf motorist is pulled over by police for a traffic violation.

“We don’t want the lack of communication to escalate tensions and possibly lead to a dangerous interaction,” Oroho (R-24) said. “If driver’s inability to follow instructions is misinterpreted, it could lead to an unpredictable and potentially dangerous situation. This bill would relieve stress for both the driver and the police.”

Under the legislation, applicants would be issued a special registration certificate with their preference of either the international symbol for deafness or a numerical code designating deafness.

“Ensuring law enforcement officers are aware that they have pulled over someone who is deaf is very important. This will enable effective communication while hopefully avoiding any potential misunderstandings,” Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex) said.

The bill, suggested to Oroho by members of the deaf community, is intended to compensate for gaps in training that fail to prepare police academy graduates for interactions with the deaf community.

“The addition of an icon signifying a hearing impairment will be obvious and helpful,” Oroho said.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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