AUSTIN, Texas — A San Antonio man was honored at the Texas Capitol on Thursday for his work pushing for an act that helps individuals with conditions that may affect their communication abilities better interact with law enforcement.
Senate Bill 976 (SB 976), also known as the "Samuel Allen Law," allows a person with a condition or disability that may cause them communication issues – such as autism, Asperger's, deafness or hearing impairment, PTSD, Parkinson's and more – the option to disclose that information when registering their vehicle through the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
If an individual with one of these conditions has elected to make that known on their vehicle registration and then they are pulled over, the Texas Law Enforcement Telecommunications System will alert the officer prior to approaching the vehicle that the person may have trouble communicating.
The act also removes the need for a bumper sticker or license plate marking so the driver's condition is kept private.
"Knowing that Texas is the first state to do this – it's an honor," Allen said. "Knowing no one's done this before and we're going to be saving lives with this law, it gives me a good feeling in my heart."
Allen was honored at the Texas Capitol on Thursday morning for helping change how drivers interact with law enforcement.
The act will go into effect on Sept. 1.
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