House Bill 43 – also known as Walker’s Law - would allow drivers with medical disabilities to note their conditions on their vehicle registrations. By putting this information on their paperwork, police officers would know ahead of time of any illnesses that may hinder communication with first responders.

Though this law was originally designed by a mother concerned for her teenage son, it has many applications for those in the disabled community. There has been increased concern around police interactions with mentally and physically disabled people. Walker’s Law may help ease those tensions by informing law enforcement about invisible disabilities before entering a situation.

What does the Bill Do?

The bill would put a box on Georgia vehicle registrations where people with invisible disabilities can list medical information that may be important in the case of an accident or roadside arrest. It would be an optional field to fill out, meaning that all medical information is only what the driver wants law enforcement and first responders to know. Some conditions listed could include things from autism to type I diabetes.

When scanning license plate numbers, police officers would not only have access to any medical information. There would also be a space to add an emergency contact number that first responders could use to contact loved ones. By calling the given number, EMTs could inform family and friends about the incident and build further on the driver’s medical background.

There would also be a specialized and universal symbol marking cars driven by people with invisible disabilities. It would work similarly to how first responders know whether or not a driver is an organ donor based on their driver’s license.

These measures are intended to help protect those with disabilities and drivers’ licenses. The original intent is to make sure police officers know about any conditions that hinder communication skills, but it could also help in cases of roadside accidents.

Who is Walker Graham?

Walker is a teenager from Troup County, Georgia, who has been diagnosed with type I diabetes. This condition means that his body does not create enough insulin and sometimes no insulin at all. A sudden spike or drop in blood sugar levels could lead to serious health issues. 

While some would not consider type I diabetes a disability, some side effects of the condition – such as blurred vision and slurred speech - could hinder both driving and communication abilities. By listing Graham’s condition on both his license and registration, first responders will understand precisely why a driver responds atypically.

Walker’s mother, Serenity Graham, is the woman proposing the bill. She wants to protect her teenage son from future problems his medical condition may bring when driving. This law would also help thousands of other people with disabilities that may not be visible to police officers or EMTs that respond to roadside accidents.

Future of the Bill

Wes Cantrell – a republican state representative for Cherokee County – is sponsoring the bill. He states that he has a niece and a nephew in a similar situation to Walker Graham. He hopes this bill will help thousands with physical, mental, or neurological disabilities.

Walker’s Law has already been unanimously approved by the House Motor Vehicles Committee. Hopefully, the Georgia State House of Representatives will vote on the bill in the near future.

Author's Bio: 

Marina Pal is a renowned author and social media enthusiast.