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Police Giving Deaf Drivers Cards to Help Them Communicate

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Police Department is giving deaf drivers a new tool to improve communication during traffic stops: laminated visor cards with symbols that officers can point at to indicate speeding, running a red light and other common violations.

The police department’s deputy commissioner for collaborative policing, Susan Herman, said Wednesday that the 4-by-11-inch (10-by-28-centimeter) cards are being mailed this week to 11,590 drivers whose licenses show they are deaf or hard of hearing. The cards also will be available for download on the department’s website.

“We wanted to make sure that a situation that could often be stressful goes as smoothly as possible,” Herman said.

Sgt. Andrea Cruz, a department sign language interpreter and hostage negotiator, developed the cards during the last year after seeing versions in use in other cities.