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Riley, Benson & Lampitt Bill Aimed at Helping Diabetics Avoid Confrontations with Police Clears Final Legislative Hurdle

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Celeste Riley, Daniel R. Benson and Pamela Lampitt sponsored to help avoid problems between diabetics and police officers passed the full Senate on Monday.

The bill (A-945) requires the Motor Vehicle Commission to permit a driver’s license or identification card holder to voluntarily indicate that the person is an insulin dependent diabetic.

The designation would be done in accordance with procedures prescribed by the chief administrator, and would be used by law enforcement official or emergency medical professional to diagnose a person who has been rendered unable to communicate due to a diabetic seizure.

“The notation is to be used solely by law enforcement officials or emergency medical professionals to diagnose a person who has been rendered unable to communicate due to a diabetic seizure,” said Riley (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “We’ve seen too many misunderstandings between diabetics and police officers that could have been avoided with this basic knowledge. This will be a big step toward resolving this ever-present worry for both diabetics and police.”

The Star-Ledger recently wrote about incidents between diabetics and police in which misunderstandings led to alleged rough treatment.
“Anything we can do help avoid misunderstandings between police officers and diabetics is a good thing,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “Diabetics deserve this understanding and treatment, when needed, and police officers need the information to do their job properly.”

“This is a simple and voluntary step that can go a long way to avoiding a lot of confrontations and problems,” said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). “This notation could prove crucial to avoiding a lot of unnecessary confrontations.”

The bill was approved 39-0 in the Senate. It was approved 66-5-4 by the Assembly in April. The measure now heads to the Governor for further consideration.