A new bill in New York state would allow people with Autism Spectrum Disorder to obtain a special driver’s license. Supporters say it would help law enforcement on routine stops, but the bill does raise concerns among advocates.
Assembly Bill A08711, establishes a system for people on the Autism spectrum to receive a special driver’s licenses. It was introduced by Assemblymember Nader Sayegh of Yonkers. It is a way for law enforcement and first responders to immediately know a person has autism and react appropriately towards them.
“Anything we can do to increase awareness with regards to an individual having autism is a great thing,” said Lawana Jones, President & Ceo of the Autism Council of Rochester. “The part we need to be careful about is how do we roll this out. We need to make sure parents and those that are on the spectrum have given their input on how we need to roll this out.”
While the bill makes its way through the state legislature, other states have passed similar laws. Just last month in Texas The Samuel Allen Law went into effect. It was named after a young man who has Asperger’s and spearheaded a campaign to get his law passed.