IM this article to a friend!

January 31, 2003

Impaired Driver Bill Expected to Pass

From: WSET, VA - 31 Jan 2003

Danville, VA - The House of Delegates will vote Saturday on special allowances for hearing and speech-impaired drivers. The bill -- sponsored by Southside Delegate Danny Marshall -- passed through a House committee unanimously.

Local police we spoke with are in favor of the bill. It would allow hearing and speech-impaired drivers ... to place a small sticker on their drivers licenses. This would make it easier for police officers -- when making routine traffic stops -- to know what they are up against.

We rode along with an officer making just those kinds of stops. He says -- especially during the day -- it's tough for hearing-impaired drivers to know when they're being pulled over ... because the lights aren't as visible.

Officer Casey Allen, Danville Police Dept. - "If we see that warning -- just like the handicapped placard that's issued by the DMV -- it gives us an idea of who would be in the vehicle operating it, and lets us know what we would need to do to assist the motorist."

We did hear questions raised about the COST of the bill. Some officers tell us -- while it would be helpful ... it may not be useful enough to offset a large cost. But the bill doesn't specify the cost of the program, one way or the other.

Copyright 2003 WSET, Inc.