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Disability Advisories for Law Enforcement

Delegate Fleischauer introduced HB 4746 in 2020. This bill was prompted by a suggestion from a constituent who heard about a similar law in Ohio. The example she described was of a family with an autistic child. The child would become very upset upon hearing a siren, and any type of stopping of the car was a change of routine which could cause a meltdown. When HB 4746 stalled on the House floor, Delegate Fleischauer amended it into a Senate bill, SB 175. Now law enforcement can be advised a disabled person in a car may need “special handling.” Any person diagnosed with a communication disability, or a parent or family member of a person diagnosed with a disability that can impair communication, may enroll with the division of motor vehicles for inclusion on an enrollment list by submitting a completed verification form to the Division of Motor Vehicles. It is entirely voluntary. The division is required to make the enrollment list available to state and local law enforcement officers through a law-enforcement automated data system so that, when needed, officers are made aware of the need for “special handling” in advance.

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