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White Plains Offers New Driver Safety Program

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - A new city-run program that affixes yellow dots to cars of residents who have opted to store medical information in their glove compartment sounds useful to public safety officers and White Plains residents like Alex Portillo, 37.

“I think I would do it,” said Portillo, a Whole Foods employee. “I don’t have any medical issues yet, but who knows what will happen when I’m older.”

White Plains announced its yellow dot program , which is primarily designed to assist senior citizens who may not be able to describe medical needs after accidents, this Tuesday. The Public Safety Department will be administering the yellow dot decals and folders containing medical information for free. A decal on the rear driver-side window will signal that vital medical information is stored in the glove compartment, which Public Safety Commissioner David Chong says will help officers identify victims, contact family, and ensure that the proper treatment is given.

“It may just be the advantage our first responders need during a critical incident,” Chong said in a statement. “We encourage every resident who knows of someone who may benefit from this program to please assist them in registering.”

Councilman John Martin, a Democrat, said first heard about the yellow dot initiative while reading the newspaper and thought it might benefit White Plains.

“The program actually started in Alabama. So I reached out the the Alabama authorities and they were very helpful. They sent up a whole information package on the program and I brought it to the mayor’s office,” said Martin. “I would love to see it get very widespread because the more places that have it, the better.”

Portillo and other residents thought people with allergies to medicines would benefit from the initiative. However, Portillo said the program might not be for everyone.

“It’s a good idea as long as it doesn’t come around and bite you in the butt,” he said. “If you have a psychiatric problem and you gave them the medical files, and later, you’re looking for a job. Who knows what they’ll do with it?”

Information about the yellow dot program is available at City Hall and the senior center. The Data Management Unit office at the Public Safety Headquarters will be available to register residents for the program from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the work week. Those who wish to participate should bring a recent passport-type photo to the police headquarters.

Do you know someone who could benefit from the yellow dot program? Join the conversation below.

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