Suppose you’re in a crash on I-5 or over on the coast somewhere and just a few minutes after the incident, a passer-by takes cellphone video and posts it right away on social media. Then it gets shared, and shared again.

Someone in your family might see that post and recognize your smashed-up car before you even have a chance to notify them about your condition.

Yeah, it’s a fast world out there. And this is an example of when today’s technology can cause problems.

“That’s a traumatic way to get such critical information — and possibly misinformation,” the Oregon Department of Transportation said last week in a news release.

What I’m getting at here is that the state of Oregon has a new service in place that will enable law enforcement to contact your family faster if you are in a crash or other situation when you can’t communicate with emergency responders. The state is setting up emergency contact registries through the Department of Motor Vehicles.

House Bill 3125 during the 2021 legislative session created an emergency contact service for Oregon residents. In a program that started Jan. 3, you can register up to two people, age 18 and older, as emergency contacts for situations where you can’t communicate.

Only Oregon law enforcement personnel will be able to access your emergency contact information, which they can do through their patrol cars. As a result, they can contact your loved ones quickly.

There are some conditions in place to participate in the program, so check it out, but it sounds like an interesting concept that’s taking hold in other states as well.

ODOT says that to register, you need to visit and sign in to “Access My DMV Profile.” You need to have an Oregon driver license, permit or identification card to register with the service.

Those behind the program hope family members and friends will register their emergency contacts, too, to help make this new technology option a success.

(Brad Fuqua is publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He can be reached at