Statewide emergency contact database proposed

By Zoie Richey
TheStatehouseFile.com 

INDIANAPOLIS — Legislation moving through the General Assembly would create a statewide emergency contact database that would enable Hoosiers to be more quickly notified of a family member’s death or serious injury in the case of a road accident.

House Bill 1084 would let anyone with a BMV-issued card submit two emergency contacts to the database.

Author of House Bill 1084, Rep. Anthony Cook, introduces the bill during committee. Photo by Zoie Richey, TheStatehouseFile.com

Rep. Anthony Cook, R-Cicero, authored the bill after parents from Westfield contacted him saying they weren’t immediately notified when their son was killed in car accident. They found out a few hours later when a chaplain contacted them to figure out what to do with their son’s body.

Cook said the bill increase communication between first responders and the families of victims.

“Technology has helped us potentially improve this system quite a bit,” Cook said.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles would be required to create and maintain the emergency contact database. Changes to emergency contact information could be made at anytime on the BMV’s website or at their local license branch.

The bill has moved through the General Assembly with unanimous support so far. It passed the Senate Homeland Security and Transportation committee 9-0 Tuesday. Previously, the bill passed the House Roads and Transportation committee 13-0 and the House 93-0.

If the bill becomes law, the database would be up and running no later than July 1, 2019.

Zoie Richey is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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