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Florida's Emergency Contact System can give parents some peace of mind

It's past curfew, and you haven't heard from your teen. Worst-case scenarios start flashing through your mind. Worse yet: how will you even know if they've been in a traffic accident on the drive home? 

For the last decade, a Florida program has been providing parents some peace of mind that they will be notified right away if their children are involved in an traffic accident. The Emergency Contact Information system, operated by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, stores emergency contact information and provides it to law enforcement in the event of an emergency.

The program was created after a young Floridian died in a car crash in 2006 and law enforcement couldn't track down her parents to let them know until six hours after the incident. The parents didn't want others to have to go through the same thing, and they worked with legislators and state officials to set up the statewide emergency contact program.

Anyone with a Florida driver's license or ID card can register up to two family members or friends to be notified in case of emergency. The information is only available to law enforcement, and only if you've been involved in an emergency.

Especially if you have new drivers in your family, take a few minutes when everyone's at home to make sure you've all entered your emergency contact information in the online system. Those few moments could make a big difference if any of you are involved in an emergency. While it might not quiet all the worries when your kid is late coming home, every little bit of precaution helps.

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