9-1-1 in Texas has new requirements for MLTS

By Cody Davis,

CC Communications Director

On May 15, 2015 Governor Abbott signed SB 788 or Kari’s Law.

This law comes after the murder of Kari Hunt in Marshall, Texas, when Ms.

Hunt’s daughter tried to call 9-1-1 for help four (4) times from a motel

telephone.  The call to 9-1-1 never went through because she didn’t know that she had to dial “9” to get an outside line.  Kari’s Law requires that all MLTS, (Multi-Line Telephone Systems), have direct access to dial 9-1-1 without having to dial “9” or any access code to get an outside line.  The law also states that all MLTS are to be programmed to send a notification to a central location on site.  If MLTS business or residence cannot meet these requirements without substantial cost, a one year waiver may be granted.

If a waiver is granted, an instructional sticker must be placed near any outbound telephone, capable of making a 9-1-1 call.  On February 10, the Commission on State Emergency Communications, (CESC), adopted Rule 251.16, Direct Access to 9-1-1.  The rule states the new Health and Safety code chapter 771A, requiring all MLTS allow direct access to call 9-1-1 without using “9” or any access code to get an outside line.  Mandatory compliance

with Kari’s Law begins September 1.  If you would like more information on Kari’s Law, please contact your telephone provider, the Rio Grande

Council of Governments at (915)533-0998 Ext. 127, or Cody Davis at (432)363-4542.