911 Butt Dials Are a Growing Problem
9-1-1 false alarms are nothing new. We’ve heard of kids dialing 9-1-1 when there’s no emergency, and Kidd Kraddick has shared some gems with us in the past about people calling emegency dispatchers for all the wrong reasons.
But have you ever been driving on the The Loop in Tyler and accidently butt-dialed 9-1-1? In the age where everyone has a smart phone that’s always at the ready, accidental pocket-dials to emergency officials are a growing problem.
The online site The Daily quotes the research from Winbourne Consulting, and the NBC affiliate in Dallas ran the story recently.
It seems like it would be easy to rule that these pocket-dials are just accidents, but it’s not quite so simple. When the 9-1-1 operator hears nothing but rustling on the line, it’s hard to figure out if it’s the inside of someone’s pocket, or if perhaps someone has been separated from their phone during a crime. Maybe the phone is not sitting in a pocket. Maybe its owner is being strangled to death and the phone is lying in the weeds. It’s quite the quandry for emergency dispathers as you can imagine, and it’s becoming a resource-drain on police forces and city budgets.
The moral of the story appears to be, put on the screen lock! No one is sure why your pockets and purses pick the numbers 9-1-1 instead of other random sets of numbers to call out when no one is looking, but just in case, lock up the phone or put it on standby when you don’t want it to be active. Otherwise, you might have red and blue lights on your tail.