News Release - Deaf Driver Communication Card to Aid During Police Traffic Stops

City of Rochester

News Release

(Friday, Sept. 24,2010) - The Rochester Police Department will distribute Deaf Driver Communication Visor Cards beginning Monday, Sept. 27, 2010 to assist police officers and drivers during routine traffic stops. Rochester Mayor Robert J. Duffy and Police Chief David T. Moore were on hand to introduce the card to the public at a press conference held Friday, Sept. 24 at City Hall.

The card provides tips on desired behavior for drivers who are deaf or hard of hearing during a traffic stop and suggestions for police on ways to better communicate with those drivers. Developed by the Rochester Police Department and the Regional Center for Independent Living Deaf and Police Interactive Committee, the visor card is modeled on successful programs used in Maryland and Virginia.

The front side of the visor card alerts the police officer that the driver is either Hard of Hearing or Deaf. It includes two sections: “I COMMUNICATE USING THESE METHODS” and “HERE’S HOW YOU CAN HELP” – information that the driver can use to indicate the best way to communicate with him or her.

Picture icons along the bottom of the visor card help the officer convey the reason for the stop or request the drivers’ license, registration and insurance cards. The reverse side lists suggestions for the driver when pulled over, such as rolling down the window and placing their hands on the steering wheel while waiting for the officer to approach.

“This is a great example of what we can achieve when citizens and government come together to address a concern,” Mayor Duffy said. “Rochester is home to a large deaf community so it is essential that police can communicate clearly with citizens who are deaf or hard of hearing.”

“Ensuring the safety of our officers and the public during traffic stops is our first priority,” said Police Chief David Moore. “When a communication card was suggested, representatives from the police and the deaf community worked together to create one for Rochester. The result is an important tool that aids communication, reduces misunderstandings and maintains the safety of both police and drivers.”

Mayor Duffy and Chief Moore also recognized the members of the Deaf and hard of hearing and Police Interactive Committee who created the card: Officers Renee Nicholls and Jay Bushen from the Rochester Police Department and Officer Brian McCoy from the Webster Police Department, Brenda Palmigiano, Diane Amero, Tracey Kaplan, Joe Kolash, Robert Tawney, and Dean DeRusso, a deaf advocate at RCIL/Center for Disability Rights.

Use of the visor card is voluntary. A valid driver’s license must be presented to obtain the card, which can be obtained free of charge from the following locations:
• Public Safety Building, 185 Exchange Blvd., Monday through Sunday, anytime • Center for Disability Rights, 497 State St., Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Rochester Recreation Club for the Deaf (RRCD), 1564 Lyell Ave., Wednesday and Fridays, 7-10 p.m.


News Media: For more information, contact Steve Scott of the Rochester Police Department at 428-7634.