Oops: First Text to 911 May Have Come From a Driver

And if so, that's illegal
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2014 4:56 PM CDT
Oops: First Text to 911 May Have Come From a Driver

A 911 dispatcher in Pennsylvania's Allegheny County received a milestone message yesterday—the county's first-ever text to 911. One problem: It appears to have been sent by someone who was driving at the time, which is not only unwise but illegal in the state. “This is one that probably should have been better served by a phone call,” a county spokesperson tells TribLive. The text came from someone who was reporting a suspected drunken driver in Pittsburgh.

The spokesperson didn't have its exact language, but the texter "seemed to indicate that they themselves were driving," reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It's possible, however, that the driver was stopped at the time or using a voice-to-text function. The county unveiled its system mainly to serve the hearing-impaired, and officials emphasize that others should text 911 only when a regular call is impossible or dangerous. The capability is slowly being rolled out across the nation. (More 911 stories.)

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