Floridians have been encouraged to participate in the emergency contact information (ECI) program, which is administered by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. More than 12 million of the state’s residents have already placed their names into the state-wide database, which will help law enforcement personnel notify family members or significant others in the event of an emergency.
The Importance of Being Registered
In an emergency situation, time can be crucial when it comes to identifying and locating others who might be of help to the person in need. In such cases, the victim may not be able to contact others or may not even be able to speak. It is the contact person who best knows the victim and his or her personal needs, especially in cases where medical treatment may be required. The system will give law enforcement personnel the ability to locate someone in any part of Florida or even in another state. The EIC database can be beneficial in the event of a traffic accident or some other mishap, after a criminal assault or even in a natural disaster.
The Registration Process
The program is open to anyone with a valid Florida driver’s license. It is also open to those who may not drive but have a state identification card, which is available to anyone in Florida who is at least 5 years of age. Those who participate in the EIC program can provide the names of two others who will serve as emergency contacts. After the initial registration, participants can add new contact names or update information that has been previously submitted. The information on the database is protected under the rules of the state’s Driver Protection Act and can only be used by law enforcement personnel to reach others in the event of an emergency.
The History of the ECI Program
The database came about after the tragic death of Tiffany Olson in a motorcycle accident in 2005. Her family was informed of the wreck hours after she had died and never had a chance to say goodbye. The victim’s mother and a Florida state representative subsequently launched a campaign to add contact information to driver’s licenses. This led to the creation of the database. Public information is equally vital when it comes to preventing tragedies and helping victims, and when accidents occur it is important to consider seeking the services of a personal injury attorney.