Bill to Create Wireless Number for Nonemergency Situations Introduced
Wednesday, May 09, 2018 | Comments

Reps. Susan W. Brooks and Anna Eshoo introduced H.R. 5700, the National Non-Emergency Mobile Number Act, a bipartisan bill that directs the FCC to facilitate the creation of a unified wireless number for critical nonemergency situations on the nation’s highways.

There are at least 18 different wireless short codes in operation across 29 states throughout the country. Mobile wireless nonemergency numbers primarily used on highways allow individuals, especially the traveling public, to quickly and easily contact public-safety officials — typically state highway patrols — in critical times of need that do not exactly rise to the emergency level, such as car malfunctions. These numbers shift unnecessary calls away from 9-1-1 systems to help with congestion and allow public-safety answering points (PSAPs) to focus on more significant matters.

The National Non-Emergency Mobile Number Act directs the FCC to facilitate the creation of a unified wireless non-emergency number. This would help consolidate the multiple numbers, thereby reducing traveler confusion and hastening response times.

“This commonsense, bipartisan bill ensures our 9-1-1 telecommunicators can focus on responding quickly and efficiently to phone calls reporting time-sensitive and urgent emergency matters,” said Brooks. “When people are traveling from state to state, the short non-emergency number people call to report an instance deserving of attention but may not classify as an emergency varies across state lines. Designating a code for this specific use promotes a more cohesive and effective public-safety response. This bill will make it easier for travelers to contact public-safety officials when reporting nonemergency situations and enables our 9-1-1 telecommunicators to focus on helping people who are dealing with an emergency.”

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