Tax disc holder could hold key to save life

Don’t know what to do with that empty tax disc holder? Motoring editor Andy Russell has learned of a police initiative that could save your life.

Having said that one of my new year motoring resolutions was to finally throw away the now defunct paper tax disc from my car, I will be leaving the holder in place.

While one reader has pointed out that it makes an ideal place to keep cards bearing emergency contact numbers for breakdown and insurance companies, Brian Ramsey told me about a new police initiative for those redundant tax disc holders.

After a bit of research on the internet, it seems many police forces around the country are suggesting that the tax disc holder can be used to store an emergency contact disc – downloadable from various constabulary websites.

Basically, the emergency form is the same size as the tax disc but gives the car owner or driver the opportunity to fill in the details of who to contact in an emergency, name of the driver, date of birth and any medical alert information. Then cut it out, fold in up and put it in the empty old tax disc holder.

In the event of a medical emergency or road traffic collision that renders the occupants unable to communicate, a first responder will be able to obtain vital information that is not otherwise accessible at the scene. All the information, which cannot be viewed by passers-by, is optional and you can put in as much or little as you like.

The information within the disc could be vital to save lives or quickly locate a casualty’s next of kin – something that can be time consuming at the scene of a serious incident.

Police said all information is optional and the blank discs can be used to add customised information, or attach a passport photo to help link the information to the right person. If there is more than one regular driver, or even regular passengers, consider printing multiple discs and add a photo or description of each person. The emergency contact disc can be used alongside existing medical alert products such as bracelets and necklaces.

If people have concerns about security of information, they can omit certain details.

Police advise that if the next of kin address is the same as the driver’s address, it may be sensible to leave this portion blank but they add that the information within the disc would give little or no information away that could aid potential criminals and any slight risk is far outweighed by the benefits.

Several police force websites are promoting the emergency contact disc so if you want to download one to print off just type ‘emergency contact disc’ into your search engine to find the relevant sites.

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