Measure Would Allow Drivers to Alert Emergency Responders of Medical Conditions in the Event They’re Incapacitated in Auto Accident
TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Richard J. Codey that calls for the creation of a “Yellow Dot Program” that would assist motorists and emergency responders at the scene of motor vehicle accidents was approved by the Assembly today by a vote of 56-17, with one abstention, receiving final legislative approval.
“When an accident first occurs, the decisions that emergency response personnel make in that moment can mean the difference between life and death,” said Senator Codey, D-Essex and Morris. “If a motorist is unable to communicate their unique health needs, this program would allow first responders to know the best course of action to treat the person’s injuries. It’s an opt-in program that could save a life by giving EMTs at the scene the valuable medical information they need to appropriately treat an accident victim.”
The bipartisan sponsored legislation, S-71, would give motorists of any age the option of placing a yellow sticker on their vehicles in order to notify emergency responders that critical health information is available in the glove compartment in case the driver is unable to communicate during an emergency. Information would include such things as medical conditions like diabetes, epilepsy, high or low blood pressure, allergies, and heart conditions, as well as any medications, hospital and doctor preferences and emergency contact information.
“In New Jersey in 2010, there were 556 people killed in motor vehicle accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,” said Senator Codey. “If the ‘Yellow Dot’ program could have saved one of those lives, because it gave first responders the information they need to direct their medical care, then it’s worth it from a State perspective to invest in this valuable, life-saving initiative.”
The bill was approved by the Senate in March by a vote of 39-0. It now heads to the Governor to be signed into law.