On May 15, 2015, Governor Abbott signed Senate Bill 788 (Kari's Law). The law represents the culmination of efforts in the aftermath of the murder of Kari Hunt in a motel room in Marshall, Texas. Ms. Hunt's 9-year-old daughter tried to call 9-1-1 for help four times from the motel room phone. The call never went through because she did not know to first dial 9 for an outbound line before dialing 9-1-1
For a multi-line telephone system that provides outbound dialing, Kari's Law requires direct access to 9-1-1 service without the user having to first dial an initial number, digit, prefix or other access number or code before dialing 9-1-1. On March 1, 2016 the Commission on State Emergency Communications adopted Rule 251.16 (Direct Access to 9-1-1 Service) to implement Kari's Law.
Compliance with Kari's Law is required by September 1, 2016. Otherwise, a waiver form must be completed each year. The waiver is valid September 1 through August 31. Contact your phone system provider to learn if your phone system is compliant.
To learn more about Kari's Law, visit www.texas911.org