The Kentucky Transportation Department has teamed up with Kentucky State Police to offer a new service that allows drivers to list an emergency contact that can be accessed easily in the event of an emergency. This technology also offers an option to remind drivers about renewal prior to their license expiring.
“If you were in an accident, it would give us a first person to contact,” said Owensboro Police Department Public Information Officer Andrew Boggess. “Your cell phone may have been in the vehicle, but was ejected or no longer working. If it’s linked to your license, I can go back to my computer and get the information.”
Boggess said this technology offers an additional option for contacting next of kin or family members to the previous ICE contacts drivers would maintain in their cell phones.
“This is just another way to do that and make it readily available,” Boggess said.
Daviess County Circuit Clerk Jennifer Hardesty Besecker said the technology recently became an option on the computer several months ago when people came in to renew or transfer their driver’s license. The circuit clerk’s office has been adding email addresses and telephone numbers to the new system in order to notify drivers through text or email when their license is due for renewal.
“In addition, we are now asking if they would like to add next of kin for law enforcement officers to notify in case of emergency,” Besecker said. “It’s going to be at that law enforcement officer’s fingertips when they scan that driver’s license. You’re talking a matter of seconds for it to scan and bring up your address and their [next of kin’s] name, versus trying to unlock a phone.”
OPD said it only takes a minute to fill out the additional information and it makes contacting loved ones in an emergency much easier for first responders. It is as simple as clicking on the link, entering the driver’s license information, date of birth and full name into the proper fields. Once validated, drivers will be asked to enter their emergency contact’s name, relation and phone number. Contact information is stored securely and can be modified at any time.
“I think it’s a great, much-needed thing that the transportation department has come out with,” Besecker said. “I just think it’s so important for everyone to do it.”