Majority Leader Ian Calderon Introduces Legislation To Create Voluntary Deaf Or Hard Of Hearing Notification Program Within Department Of Motor Vehicles

Monday, February 27, 2017

SACRAMENTO, CA – Majority Leader Ian Calderon (D–Whittier) introduced Assembly Bill 381, which will improve traffic stop interactions between law enforcement and the deaf community.

“This bill is intended to help two distinct populations.  The deaf or hard of hearing community deserves the peace of mind that comes with knowing that the police officer that’s pulling you over isn’t going to rely on verbal commands and potentially let a routine traffic stop escalate because the driver is unable to heed those commands,” stated Majority Leader Calderon.  “And peace officers have a difficult job.  Routine traffic stops can turn out to be anything but routine, so the more information officers have before approaching a vehicle, the better they can protect and serve as intended.”

AB 381 directs the Department of Motor Vehicles to create a Voluntary Deaf or Hard of Hearing Notification Program.  The program would allow a person registering a vehicle or renewing said registration, to voluntarily indicate that a driver of the vehicle may be deaf or hard of hearing.  This would create a notification in the vehicle’s record which would be provided when a peace officer accesses the vehicle’s registration – more commonly known as running the vehicle’s plates. 

The Voluntary Deaf or Hard of Hearing Notification Program will provide law enforcement with helpful information that will contribute to a more successful interaction with deaf motorists, as well as afford that community more confidence when being pulled over for a routine traffic stop.  Additionally, in order to protect the privacy and security of participants of this program, the bill explicitly prohibits the DMV from indicating a driver’s deaf or hard of hearing designation on the driver’s license, certificate of ownership, registration card, or license plate.

AB 381 will be heard in the Assembly Transportation Committee.

Majority Leader Ian C. Calderon was elected in November 2012 to represent California's 57th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Industry, La Habra Heights, La Mirada, La Puente, Norwalk, Santa Fe Springs, South El Monte, Whittier and the unincorporated communities of Avocado Heights, Bassett, East La Mirada, East Whittier, Los Nietos-West Whittier, South San Jose Hills, South Whittier, and Hacienda Heights.