New Jersey bill could safeguard drivers with penicillin allergies

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 7/11/2014

A bill halfway through the New Jersey Legislature would benefit truck drivers and motorists in the state with penicillin allergies.

The Assembly voted unanimously to advance a bill to the Senate that would allow affected drivers to have the penicillin allergy, or allergy to any other type of drug or medication, notation added to their operator’s license.

Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, D-Union, said about 5.4 million people throughout the country are allergic to penicillin.

“Driver’s licenses are the most likely place to look for vital information,” Quijano said in prepared remarks. “It makes sense for it to include information that could save a life in an emergency.”

The legislative effort follows two other actions taken in recent months at the statehouse to benefit drivers with medical conditions.

One new law allows truckers and other drivers in the state with diabetes to voluntarily note the condition on their license or identification. It takes effect this September.
According to the New Jersey Department of Health, there are nearly 670,000 people in the state who have the condition.

A separate new law is intended to benefit drivers in the moments following vehicle wrecks.

The “New Jersey Yellow Dot” program provides emergency responders with critical health information for drivers who sign up for the program.

Program materials would include a yellow decal for the side window, a health information card, a yellow envelope and program instructions.

Supporters say that the first moments following a serious wreck are crucial, especially when someone has unique medical needs.

Quijano’s bill, A1315, is awaiting consideration in the Senate Transportation Committee.

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