Number plates to display medical conditions

At the behest of a local woman, the Department of Transport is considering a bill to provide special number plates for people with certain medical conditions.

Aaron Heston is sponsoring bill number 368, which will permit special number plates to applicants with asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, heart disease and other ailments.

Such Number plates could be crucial in a traffic accident - they would alert emergency medical personnel and police that the driver might have a condition requiring special treatment.

Utah offers many types of special number plates. Ordinarily, a minimum number of people must order a type of plate before the state will produce it. However, Heston's bill states that medical condition indication number plates would be exempt from the 500 minimum requirement. The plates would be subject to a one-time fee of $23.

The bill has been assigned to the Department of Transport Committee, although the cost to implement the six number plates -- $23,000 according to a Heston aide, might make it hard to pass the proposal this year.

Heston's bill was inspired by Amy Lewis, mother of two epileptic children.

Lewis heard lots of stories about the police misinterpreting people with diabetes or other medical conditions as being under the influence of alcohol. In 2007 she suggested the number plates idea to Heston.

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