Yellow Dots Could Save Floridians' Lives Just After Car Wrecks

Apr 19, 2013

A program designed to help save lives after car crashes cleared the Florida House of Representatives this week. The bill’s sponsor is also touting the so-called yellow dot program as a way for county governments to bring in more revenue.

It sounds so simple. Drivers would put a circular, yellow decal on their cars’ back windshield. But it could have two big effects, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Irv Slosberg (D-Delray Beach) said.

“What this is going to do is bring dollars to the counties and it’s gonna save lives,” he said on the House floor on Wednesday.

Slosberg has long been a champion of highway safety measures after his teenage daughter was killed in a car wreck.

Here’s how the yellow dot would work: Say someone is in a terrible car wreck and they are unconscious, or even killed. When first responders arrive on the scene, when they see the yellow dot on the car, they would know to look in the glove compartment. Inside, there’d be a photo of the driver with identifying information, along with any relevant medical records. If the victim has high blood pressure, for example, they’d know not to use certain medications.

Rep. Hazel Rogers (D-Lauderhill) said, there’s no downside to the idea.

“I indicated the first time I saw this bill and read it, that this bill will save lives and it is another tool for our paramedics and first responders, and I support this bill. Members, it’s a good bill,” she said.

Under the measure the House passed, the state would not create the yellow dot program, but rather, counties would be allowed to voluntarily adopt it. Slosberg said, it’s a win-win for local governments because not only could they save lives but they could also gain revenue by getting yellow-dot sponsors, like hospitals or insurance companies.

He said, the idea for the program came from three homeowners’ associations in his district. Rep. Dave Kerner (D-Palm Springs) commends Slosberg for responding to the people he represents.  

Kerner said, “This is an example of a legislator listening to his constituents. They brought this idea to him. And—‘Let Irv serve’—he brought it up here, and now it’s on the floor. And I’m proud to be co-sponsor.”

The yellow-dot bill passed the House unanimously. The Senate version, sponsored by Joseph Abruzzo (D-Wellington) is going through committees.