Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Policy Long Overdue

On a September night in 2005, Maricela Knight and her husband Andrew were driving home to Long Reach after an evening at Clydes. Maricela was driving. According to this story by Melissa Harris in The Sun, at 2:20 AM, near the intersection of Route 175 and Tamar Drive, she drove through a guardrail, “hit several trees and overturned on an embankment.”

Her husband was killed. They were less than three miles from home. Andrews parents would not find out what happened until 10 hours later.

As a result of that tragic event, then Senator Sandy Schrader and Delegate Gail Bates introduced legislation in the General Assembly to allow license holders to have up to three people on file with their electronic records to be notified in the event of an accident. On September 23, 2005, only one name was allowed to be listed and that night, Andrews emergency contact was his wife who was incapacitated in the accident.

Though the General Assembly did not act on Schrader and Bates bill, the Motor Vehicle Administration finally adopted the measure. According to this story by Michael Dresser in The Sun, Maryland motorists “can now can store information with their electronic driving records about who law enforcement officials should contact in the event of a traffic crash or similar emergency.”

“Emergency contact information can be submitted online at http://www.mva.maryland.gov or at kiosks at MVA offices. According to the agency, the information will be available only to law enforcement.”

A wag of the wordbones tail goes out to Sandy and Gail. It may have taken over five years but at least it did get done.
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