New license safety feature keeps loved ones informed

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Margaret Davis of Montgomery County is behind a new safety feature that could help save lives.

It links emergency contact information to drivers licenses and State Identification Cards in Tennessee.

The Department of Safety announced the new driver license system feature Thursday.

The database tied to it provides emergency contact information for law enforcement during a crisis.

Davis said she came up with the idea after a car crash. It happened while she was with her now 23-year-old son J.T.

“My son has autism, how is he going to be taken care of? What happens to him when I’m not able to be that one to make the calls?” Davis told News 2.

Those questions ran through her mind after someone slammed into the back of her car while she was at a red light at the intersection of Wilma Rudolph Blvd and Dunbar Cave Rd in Clarksville in 2008.

“I don’t have any recollection from impact until I woke up in the hospital,” said Davis.

Two years earlier, Davis said her dad was on I-24 when he was hit.

“He wasn’t able to speak to anyone to tell them who needed to be called,” said Davis.

For 18 hours Davis had no idea where her dad was. She even filed a missing persons report.

“I should have been able to have gotten the information and I didn’t,” said Davis.

She realized something needed to change so she emailed State Representative Joe Pitts. He called the Department of Safety and a few months later the department and Homeland Security added the new safety feature.

“It’s nice to know that there’s more than just me and my husband looking out after my son,” said Davis.

Here is how it works: You enter your emergency contacts online here.

In an emergency, law enforcement can access those numbers through a database tied to drivers licenses and state identification cards.
“Being able to know that piece of mind is there, that takes a huge weight off my shoulders,” said Davis.

She submitted her information Thursday. “The first day I knew I could get in there I got in there,” said Davis. She hopes others follow her example.

“No one will have to go through what I did of wondering where my dad is and why has someone not called us,” said Davis.

This service is available at no cost to all driver license or state ID card holders.

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