The Wilton Police Department announced it is now participating in the Blue Envelope Program, an initiative that was started to assist drivers who are on the autism spectrum, and enhance communication between the police and a driver with autism.
The envelope was created by a new state law that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, and is supported by the Connecticut Police Chief’s Association, Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles, and autism advocacy groups.
A driver with autism spectrum disorder can place a license, registration and insurance card into the Blue Envelope, which can be kept in the car’s glove box or on the visor. In the event of a motor vehicle traffic stop or crash, drivers can present the Blue Envelope with their information to officers, which will immediately alert police officers that the driver is on the autism spectrum.
On the outside of the envelope are helpful tips and instructions for both the officer and driver on how to successfully communicate with each other. For instance the envelope reminds the driver to ask the officer for permission to reach for the envelope. For officers, the envelope is a reminder that several typical elements of a police stop–flashing lights, radio noise, etc.–may induce heightened sensory response and be stressful to drivers with autism.
Wilton police officers have completed training to know what the envelope means.
Blue Envelopes are available at all Connecticut DMV locations, police stations, driving schools and through autism advocacy groups. In Wilton, individuals can request envelopes at the front window of the Police Department’s lobby.
Participating in the program is voluntary, and drivers are permitted to have multiple envelopes.