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Police giving deaf drivers cards to help them communicate

Deaf drivers in New York City are getting a new tool meant to improve communication with police officers


By Michael R. Sisak
Associated Press

NEW YORK — Deaf drivers in New York City are getting a new tool meant to improve communication with police officers in the event they're pulled over.

The New York Police Department said Wednesday it's sending cards with symbols for common traffic violations like speeding and cellphone use to 11,590 deaf or hard-of-hearing drivers.

Sgt. Andrea Cruz holds a card that is being sent to nearly 12,000 deaf and hard of hearing motorists. (AP Photo/Michael R. Sisak)
Sgt. Andrea Cruz holds a card that is being sent to nearly 12,000 deaf and hard of hearing motorists. (AP Photo/Michael R. Sisak)

Officers are being trained to point to the symbols to tell deaf motorists why they're being stopped.

The cards give officers tips for improving interactions and have a space for deaf motorists to indicate how they prefer to communicate. Other cities including Rochester use the cards.

The NYPD has pledged to improve its treatment of deaf people under a 2009 consent decree and has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlements to deaf people who say they've been mistreated.

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