Troup County family celebrates passage of law named for their son

Moments after the Georgia House of Representatives gave final passage to House Bill 43, the primary sponsor, state Rep. Wes Cantrell, R-Woodstock, sent Serenity Graham a text message.

"I just started like kind of crying, getting all emotional," said Graham.

HB 43, also known as "Walker's Law," was named for Graham's 16-year-old son who has Type 1 Diabetes.

Under the measure, when a car owner registers their vehicle with the state, they can add information about any "expected driver" of the car who may have a physical, mental or neurological condition that can hinder their ability to communicate. That way, if a police officer pulls them over, the officer can be informed about what to expect.

"Sometimes, especially diabetic, can appear to be under the influence of alcohol when they're going into shock and it can be easily misunderstood by a law enforcement officer," said Rep. Cantrell. "They receive training in these areas already, but to have that little bit of heads up to be looking for it just in case I think will be huge for Georgia's drivers."

Rep. Cantrell said the bill can be particularly important for drivers on the Autism spectrum, who can sometimes come across as rude or disrespectful in their social interactions.

Graham said her son, who just got his driver's license, was excited to learn about the bill's passage.

"I said, 'Walker, there's like a law named after you now.' And he was like, 'Okay, that's pretty cool,'" Graham said.

The bill now needs the governor's signature but is scheduled to go into effect on July 1.

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