Accidental 911 Calls Swamping System

from the damn-mobile-phones dept

A couple of years ago, while driving down 101 south of San Francisco I saw a car (for no clear reason) violently jerk to the left, hit the concrete center divider, and spin back out into the middle of the highway, pretty smashed up, and blocking the two center lanes. I grabbed my cell phone and called 911. I was told that all 911 operators were busy and to try back another time. I could not believe that 911 would have such a message. I tried for the next 10 minutes and never got through. It seems that 911 systems are being overloaded by “accidental” calls. Mostly these are from mobile phones that have an “emergency” quick dial button that gets pressed when someone sits on it or bumps up against something. There are stories from dispatchers who say they get 10 calls in a row, where all they hear are a meeting going on, a stereo playing, or people walking on gravel.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Accidental 911 Calls Swamping System”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Brandon (user link) says:

truth stranger than fiction...

The first time I called and got the “all available operators are busy” I was somewhat shocked, I thought that it was supposed to be a joke when they did that in all of the movies, but apparently its taken from real life…

On the flipside, I haven’t noticed any problems with it recently.


Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...