Emergency contact bill heads to governor

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 20-May-2010

The full Senate has given final approval to a measure to ensure loved ones will be notified in a timely way if a family member has been involved in a serious accident. Sen. Sean Burrage of Claremore, a Democrat, is principal author of Senate Bill 1779. The bill was approved unanimously on Wednesday.

“This is a strictly voluntary program to give people who choose to participate the ability to provide emergency contact information when applying for or renewing their driver license or ID,” explained Burrage. “The information would not appear on the driver license, but would instead be entered into a database maintained by the Department of Public Safety.”

Burrage said he filed the bill after being approached by a friend who had lost a family member in a car accident.

“The family was devastated by this loss, but it was compounded because they didn’t find out until the next day. Responders had been unable to find any contact information among the victim’s personal belongings at the time of the accident. They finally were forced to break into his apartment in order to get the name of a relative,” Burrage said. “Had this program been in place, the family would have known about the accident in a much more timely way.”

SB 1779 now goes to Gov. Brad Henry for his consideration.