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What are your Thoughts? New Bill Discusses Designation of Autism on Licenses

September 09, 2013

Massachusetts State Representative Denise Andrews will propose a bill in the state legislature designed to make roadways safer for people with autism. The bill, which will be presented to the Joint Committee on Transportation Tuesday, would create a voluntary designation on driver’s licenses that would identify the license holder as having an autism spectrum disorder. 

A story about the bill in the Fitchburg Sentinel and Enterprise quotes Carla Charter, who has encountered students with autism in the Narragansett Regional School District: "Most people, even those educated on the subject, can't tell if someone is autistic or has Asperger's syndrome right away," Charter said Sunday. "Even an officer educated on the topic couldn't tell if someone was on the autistic spectrum if they pulled them over at 3 in the morning. If something comes across as odd to an officer, things could escalate."

The goal of the bill is to increase the safety for all drivers on the spectrum by informing law enforcement officers to take care when it comes to certain drivers who may have difficulty with social interactions. This designation would be voluntary for those with autism and would be available to law enforcement officers but not clear to anyone seeing the license.

What are your thoughts on the identification of autism on a driver's license? Please share with us in the comments below!