The Florida Department of Highway Safety is asking Floridians to register their emergency contact information as part of their hurricane season preparations.
Who would law enforcement call if you were in an emergency situation?
Having an emergency contact in the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ system helps law enforcement reach family and friends in case of an emergency such as a car accident. The information is only visible to law enforcement.
“In times of an emergency it is extremely important for first responders to be able to quickly locate a person’s family or friends,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry Rhodes. “The Emergency Contact Information program allows you to register that information in a secure system that can be accessed only by law enforcement and provides peace of mind to your family and friends.”
How do I register?
Anyone with a current Florida driver’s license or ID card may enter up to two contacts at a driver’s license office, including those operated by tax collectors or by going to the ECI webpage. Registration is free.
Typically, law enforcement uses driver’s licenses and license plates to locate a victim’s relatives, but sometimes that information is outdated or incorrect and delays notifying loved ones. In the most extreme emergency cases, getting in touch with relatives or friends expeditiously could mean the difference between being able to say goodbye — or not — to a loved one.
The database was launched after Christine Olson’s daughter Tiffiany Olson was involved in a traffic crash causing fatal injuries when the motorcycle she was a passenger on collided with another vehicle. Ms. Olson was not notified of Tiffiany’s passing for several hours and was not able to say her last goodbyes. Ms. Olson was heartbroken. She then found the silver lining to an otherwise dark cloud. Ms. Olson, with the assistance of State Representative Bill Galvano from Bradenton District 68, began pushing for emergency information to be added to a person’s driver’s license or identification card.
Since the information could not be printed directly on a license, Ms. Olson and Rep. Galvano contacted the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) and took the next best route-to have the information included in the D.A.V.I.D. (Driver And Vehicle Information Database) system which is a secured database used by most law enforcement agencies in the State of Florida.
State officials report that as of June, 2014, 8.8 million Floridians have already registered. Please take a moment to register your information.