New Jersey Considering Registry for Car Accident Notification

The State of New Jersey is considering a voluntary registry for use in emergency notification after accidents result in incapacitating injury. The legislative idea arose after Sara Dubinin was critically injured in a New Jersey car wreck. Dubinin was a passenger in a car that ran off the road and crashed into a tree in September 2007. Emergency personnel were unable to identify Dubinin for roughly 90 minutes. By the time emergency personnel could notify Dubinin’s parents, the 19-year-old had fallen into a coma. She never regained consciousness and died the next day.

The Assembly unanimously approved the bill this summer. The bill passed through the Senate Transportation Committee in September. The Budget and Appropriations Committee is next to take up the matter.

People with a New Jersey driver’s license or state identification cards would have the choice to provide the Motor Vehicle Commission with emergency contact information. Police would be able to look up emergency contact information to notify loved ones after a person has been seriously injured in an accident.

Proponents of the bill laud the measure for both its utility and low cost. Thomas Goodwin, one of the sponsors in the Senate said that being able to speed up the notification process after a serious injury accident “makes all the sense in the world.”

The registry reportedly would be inexpensive to set up and maintain. State issued identification cards would be more widely available for teens under the bill. Currently the age limit is 17 for identification cards. The bill lowers that age limit to 14-years-of-age with parental consent. Parents could designate themselves to be the emergency contacts for 14 to 17-year-old teens.

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