New state law will change how police interacts with drivers who - FOX34 Lubbock

New state law will change how police interacts with drivers who have trouble communicating

LUBBOCK, Texas -

A new law is intended to bring some peace of mind to many drivers with some form of speech challenge. State lawmakers passed "The Samuel Allen" law honoring an activist on the autism spectrum. It specifically focuses on communicating during traffic stops.

"What the law does is allow people when they register their vehicles to note medical conditions such as autism, aspergers, if the person is hearing impaired, have brain injuries, strokes that sort of thing, stuttering, speech impediment on down the list," said defense attorney, Mark Snodgrass. "Hopefully it will deescalate and cause there to be fewer altercations and interactions that escalate that don't have to."

Instead of the vehicle having a handicap symbol on the plates, the notice of a communication challenge will come in when the officer runs the plates. That's supposed to give both drivers and law enforcement some discretion.

 Lubbock police are ahead of the game with this policy change.

"We have already established training that prepares officers for these kind of encounters just because you aren't necessarily dealing with these encounters with them in a vehicle," said LPD officer, Tino Blanco. "We deal with them in residences, out on the streets all kinds of calls for services, so we are little more prepared and ready to handle this when we have these encounters."

To register a medical speech impediment on your vehicle just take some records from your doctor to the driver's license office. The new practice will go into effect on the first.






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