The measure, known as "Sara's Law," would allow those with New Jersey driver's licenses or state-issued identification cards to electronically submit the name and telephone number of an emergency contact to the Motor Vehicle Commission.
If the person is killed, incapacitated or seriously injured in an accident, law enforcement personnel would use the registry to notify the emergency contact.
Proponents say that besides providing a vital service, the program would be inexpensive to launch and the cost of maintaining the registry would be minimal.
The bill was unanimously approved by the Assembly in June, and the Senate's Transportation Committee passed it in September. It was then sent to the senate's Budget and Appropriations Committee, which recently gave its approval.
The measure, which now heads to the full senate for its consideration, is named in honor of Sara Dubinin, a 19-year-old Sayreville resident. She was critically injured in September 2007 when the vehicle she was riding in ran off the road and struck a tree.
It took emergency personnel about 90 minutes to ascertain her identity and notify her parents, who immediately headed to the hospital. But before they arrived, Dubinin slipped into a coma and never regained consciousness.
She died the next morning.
The measure also would lower the age limit for non-driver identification cards issued by the state's Motor Vehicle Commission from 17 to 14. But anyone under 17 would need parental consent to get a card, and parents would be able to designate themselves as the emergency contact.