911 Calls By Cellphone Swamp California Patrol

from the not-this-again dept

A year ago we posted an article about how accidental 911 calls from mobile phones were swamping police dispatchers. I know that the two times in the past couple of years that I’ve had to call 911 (once after witnessing an accident, and once when seeing a guy who appeared to be asleep while driving swerving across the highway) I received an “all operators are busy message both times. Apparently, the New York Times has found that the situation hasn’t gotten any better. They say whenever there’s an accident, hundreds of people call in to report it, since everyone seems to have a cell phone these days. Police are trying to better locate where the calls are coming from, not only to be able to respond faster, but also to better route the calls. If all the calls are coming from one region, it’s more important just to find out what happened then to answer each and every one of those calls. The other issue is that people are too quick to call 911. Some people apparently call it to ask for directions, while others just call accidentally. They say that 1/3 of all calls these days to 911 are accidental calls by a phone in someone’s purse or pocket.

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