RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA — Late last week, North Carolina governor Roy Cooper signed a bill into law that allows people that are deaf and hard of hearing to have a symbol placed on their driver’s license that designates their hearing challenges.
Law to Take Effect January 1, 2018
The legislation, which will take effect on January 1st, was proposed 10 days following the tragic shooting death of a deaf driver in Charlotte, North Carolina, by a state trooper last August. In addition to the voluntary designation option for deaf and hard of hearing motorists, the bill also helps establish minimum educational and training standards for criminal justice officers for interacting with a motorist who is deaf or hard of hearing.
Advocates hope that the additional police training, along with the voluntary license designation, will help prevent future tragedies due to communication breakdowns and misunderstandings.