Drivers sporting a bright, yellow circle on the rear windows of their vehicles are not showing support for a favorite sports team or vacation spot. The sticker is part of a new PennDOT program geared toward increasing motorists' safety.
In the event of a crash, the Yellow Dot program sticker signals emergency responders to secure the driver's medical and emergency contact information located in a folder in the vehicle's glove compartment. This should be one of the first pieces of information first responders seek out, PennDOT spokeswoman Pam Kane said.
The voluntary Yellow Dot program is recommended for older drivers or individuals on certain medications, but all Pennsylvania motorists can enroll, Kane said.
"If we can help the emergency responders understand what types of medications a driver is on, then they can better give them emergency treatment in the event of a crash," Kane said.
Drivers can fill out as much or as little information as choose, Kane said.
The form asks drivers to list two emergency contacts, medical conditions and prescribed medications, allergies and their regular physician.
Drivers can obtain a Yellow Dot packet by visiting driver's license centers or regional EMS centers. Additional information is available online at www.yellowdot.pa.gov.
A second initiative announced with the Yellow Dot program will help law enforcement quickly access additional emergency contact information, Kane said.
Residents can log into a secure PennDOT database and upload two emergency contacts. Law enforcement officials can access that information from any location in the event of a medical or other emergency, she said.
With heavy traffic expected throughout the Thanksgiving weekend, Kane said it is important for drivers to be patient and drive sober.
"We had 84 crashes last year during the Thanksgiving holiday period" in District 9, Kane said. "The unique thing about Thanksgiving versus Christmas or New Year's is that Thanksgiving is one of the heaviest-traveled holidays of the year."