New Jersey bill could benefit drivers with drug allergies

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 2/10/2016

A bill on the move in the New Jersey Assembly is intended to benefit truck drivers and motorists in the state with drug allergies, such as penicillin.

The Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities committee voted unanimously to advance a bill to allow affected drivers to have the penicillin, or 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 a new release. “It makes sense for it to include information that could save a life in an emergency.”

The Motor Vehicle Commission would be required to permit a license and identification card holder to voluntarily indicate that the person is allergic to penicillin or any other type of drug or medication.

“Having this information on your driver’s license is another way to ensure medical personnel are aware of an allergy in an emergency situation,” stated Assemblyman John Wisniewski, D-Middlesex.

The bill, A846, awaits consideration on the Assembly floor. If approved there, it would move to the Senate.

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

One New Jersey law allows truckers and other drivers in the state with diabetes to voluntarily note the condition on their license or identification.
According to the New Jersey Department of Health, nearly 670,000 people in the state have the condition.

A separate law is intended to benefit drivers in the moments following vehicle wrecks. Counties and municipalities are allowed to establish a “Yellow Dot” program, which provides emergency responders with critical health information for drivers who sign up for the program.

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

To view other legislative activities of interest for New Jersey, click here.

Sign up for eNews here and get all of Land Line’s headlines, features and special reports delivered to your inbox on a daily basis, absolutely free. All it takes is an email address.

Copyright © OOIDA