911 should accept text messages or accept silent alarm/tracking nationwide. Not always possible to make a voice call to 911 if you’re in a dangerous situation. Even a 911 chat bot that silently accepts text with responses like “enter 1 if you’re in danger” could help.
2. People can livestream on Facebook/ YouTube so why can’t government make live texting to 911 possible across the US? For one, there is no legal requirement for 911 call centers to offer text-to-911 services. This is something private companies and Silicon Valley can help fix.
3. Implementing text-to-911 service usually starts with a state law requiring emergency centers to support it. Cash-strapped states and cities don’t have the money to implement text-to-911 even though 85% of calls to 911 now come from mobile devices.
4. In California, a plan to raise taxes to pay for modernizing the 911 emergency dispatch system statewide fell one vote short last September in the Senate, though LA county (cities like LA, Burbank, Glendale) decided to support text-to-911 on their own.
5. Allegheny county in Pennsylvania, where synagogue shooting took place, offers a text-to-911 service. But high school students hiding from a gunman in Parkland, Florida, had to make whispered calls to 911. Parkland plans to have text-to-911 in place by next year.
6. While Lyft and Uber offer safety measures such as allowing a friend to track a ride you’re in, states should require larger/more legible digital license plates that can be used to display help messages (also useful to alert vehicles of impending passenger pickup/drop off).
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