NC Aviation Law Attorney

New Jersey 7th State To Implement “Sara’s Law” For Car Accident Emergency

In 2007, Sara Dubinin of Sayreville was in a car accident which left her in a coma before she died of her injuries. It was almost two hours before her parents were notified of the accident.

On April 11, Governor Chris Christi signed legislation that will hopefully eliminate this lengthy delay before next of kin are notified when there has been a serious accident. “Sara’s Law” will establish a next-of-kin registry that will provide authorities with immediate access to contact information when a family member is involved or injured in a motor vehicle accident. It will go into effect in 18 months.

New Jersey is now the 7th state to have this procedure, along with Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Colorado and Delaware.

Safeguards are in place to protect against unauthorized access and emergency contact information will not be subject to public disclosure.  Any New Jersey driver’s license or non-driver identification holder has the opportunity to voluntarily participate by submitting the name and telephone number of two emergency contact persons to the state Motor Vehicle Commission.  By lowering the age which a non-driver identification card can be obtained from 17 to 14, the law expands the number of teenagers eligible to participate.

“As the father of four children, I know first-hand that it is a parent’s natural instinct to protect their child from harm and to be with that child in their time of need,” Christie said Monday. “My heart goes out to the Dubinins for their terrible loss. By signing Sara’s Law, we are putting a commonsense process in place to ensure a family facing the terrible difficultly of a child in harm or danger is not further strained through notification that is delayed or too late.”

 

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