Emergency responders in Massachusetts will now have another way to easily identify electric and hybrid vehicles. Massachusetts has become the second state to unveil a new license plate for hybrids and electric vehicles, a move that aligns with the goals with the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Electric Vehicle Safety Project.
James M. Shannon, NFPA president applauded Massachusetts’ decision to create such plates as the number of electric and hybrid vehicles grows. The move comes after NFPA conducted training for first responders in Massachusetts in July 2011.
“This is an important step in the effort to protect first responders and the public,” said Shannon. “If a first responder can easily identify the vehicle as an electric or hybrid vehicle, they immediately will have an extra level of necessary information that can enhance safety.”
Massachusetts is the second state in the nation, behind Hawaii, to offer specialized license plates as an option to electric and hybrid vehicle drivers. Owners of any of the 30 vehicles considered electric or hybrid in nature by Massachusetts Registry of Motor may swap their license plate for the new plate, for a small fee.
Since the launch of the Electric Vehicle Safety Project, NFPA has collaborated with top safety experts and automobile manufacturers to provide a comprehensive curriculum of up-to-date information on the topic. The course, which has been delivered to first responders at fire academies across the country–including the state of Massachusetts– is also being customized by NFPA for law enforcement, providing information on how to most effectively deal with emergency situations involving hybrid, electric and extended range vehicles.
The NFPA course offers subject matter experts with knowledge on topics specific to electric vehicles such as disabling procedures, extrication processes, risk of electric shock, handling new types of batteries, challenges presented by charging stations, as well as towing and storage guidelines.
For more information on the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s GreenDOT commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability, visit www.massdot.state.ma.us/GreenDOT.aspx.
To learn more about NFPA’s electric vehicle training series, visit: www.evsafetytraining.org/Training.