With an estimated 825,000 Floridians who are deaf or hard of hearing, routine traffic stops can create dangerous situations. A hearing impaired driver likely cannot hear a siren or law enforcement commands during a traffic stop, which has resulted in tragedies for both law enforcement and hearing-impaired drivers. Without prior knowledge that the driver is hearing impaired, the officer may believe the driver is not complying or is resisting the officer.
Florida now has a voluntary process for deaf/hard of hearing drivers to indicate their hearing impairment on their vehicle registration. In the event of a traffic stop, law enforcement is able to access this information while running the tag – before approaching the vehicle – eliminating any potential communications issues and giving the officer the information necessary to adjust their approach appropriately.