For Immediate Release: February 2, 2010
Emergency Contact Bill Heads to Full Senate
A bill to help ensure families can find out in a timely way when a person has been severely injured or killed in an accident has cleared its first hurdle. Senate Bill 1779 was approved by the Senate Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday. The bill’s author is Sen. Sean Burrage who was contacted by a friend after tragedy struck their family.
“Her cousin had been killed in an automobile accident in the middle of the night, but the family didn’t hear about it for 12 hours. Law enforcement had tried diligently to reach someone, but wound up having to break into the victim’s apartment in order to find the name and number of someone to contact,” said Burrage, D-Claremore. “My bill would enable Oklahomans to provide an emergency contact number so that a friend or family member could be notified should the unthinkable happen.”
Under Senate Bill 1779, anyone applying for a driver license or identification card or renewing their license or ID would have the option of providing emergency contact information. The information would be entered into a database maintained by the Department of Public Safety.
“This would be strictly optional, and the information would be entered into a database that law enforcement could access if a person became incapacitated,” Burrage said. “This simply makes it easier for law enforcement to notify a spouse, parent, child or trusted friend in case of an emergency.”
Burrage’s legislation will next be considered by the full Senate.