Kari’s Law Now in Effect Across Texas

Local News

As of today a new telephone law goes into effect.

If your business or work phone dials a 9 or other number to reach an outside line you may be breaking the law if not configured properly.

But what should you do in the face of an emergency?

During an Emergency young children are taught to dial 9-1-1.

This works on any home or mobile line. But some business land lines make this simple number unreachable by having users dial a number, usually a 9, to reach an outside line.

For one child in Texas, a phone became useless as her mother was stabbed to death at a Hotel. All while the young girl tried to call 9-1-1, she did not know she had to press a 9 first.

Kari’s law was first signed in 2015. As of September First 2016, all phones with a multi-line telephone systems must have direct access to 9-1-1.

For some it might be a matter of programming phones to do so. Others with older phones will have to replace them entirely. VoIP lines will have to register their provider and local 9-1-1 dispatch centers.

Those who for some reason find it impossible to change their lines can file for an extension with their local authorities. But even those with an extension must Place a sticker with specific instructions on how to reach 9-1-1.

Fire Chief Carlos Elizondo says, “The sooner that you can get the call out to the individuals that need to respond, the better outcome it’s going to have for the person who is actually in the emergency need… It is something that needed to be vetted, needed to be introduced. Thank God that it was passed.”

There are no fees or enforcement for those breaking the law. However if an emergency strikes and investigations determine a call for help was not accessible by dialing 9-1-1, you could take some blame for the incident.

After speaking with authorities’ valley wide, Dispatch centers cannot tell if a business landline dials a number before you dial 9-1-1. 

However Not knowing about this law does not exempt you or your business from not following it.

DO NOT dial 9-1-1 to check if your system is configured.

Contact your service provider for details pertaining this law. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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