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    Thursday, February 02, 2023

    Oct. 1 event in Groton offers opportunity for drivers with autism to learn about traffic stops

    Groton ― Local police invite drivers with autism to an Oct. 1 event intended to help familiarize the drivers with the typical steps of a traffic stop.

    Police will perform mock traffic stops during the event from 8 a.m. to noon at Fitch High School, 101 Groton Long Point Road, Groton Police Chief L. J. Fusaro and Waterford Police Chief Marc Balestracci announced in a news release.

    “These traffic stops will allow participants to engage with an officer and experience a routine traffic stop in a controlled setting,” according to the release.

    Participants can learn how to use the Blue Envelope, “a Connecticut DMV resource that provides a blue colored envelope with written instructions to assist a motorist with autism spectrum disorder navigate a traffic stop. The envelope also alerts police officers that the individual has autism so that enhanced communication can be reached between the two.”

    Officers also will meet drivers informally prior to the traffic stops.

    The event is open to drivers with autism, who have a current license, car, registration, and insurance, and they can bring one support person. People who have not yet obtained their license are welcome to observe.

    Southern Connecticut State University’s Center of Excellence on Autism Spectrum Disorders, the SCSU Police Department, Groton Town Police Department, Waterford Police Department, Groton Public Schools, and Inclusion A Sylvestre Foundation are presenting the event.

    To register, people should send an email to asd-center@southernct.edu. The subject line should be “traffic stop practice” and the body of the email should include their name, phone number and email address.

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