In December 2013, Kari Hunt was murdered by her estranged husband in a Texas hotel room despite repeated attempts by her nine-year-old daughter, Brianna, to call 911. Because the
multiline telephone system (MLTS) in the hotel required a “9” to be dialed first to get an outside line, Brianna was never able to connect with emergency services as her mother was
stabbed to death. This tragedy sparked a campaign to require direct-dial access to emergency 911 services from all devices.
Congress unanimously passed the Kari’s Law Act of 2017, which was signed into law on February 16, 2018. Kari’s Law requires phone systems to be configured in a way that allows
people to call 911 without dialing any additional number, code, prefix or post-fix, regardless of location or device. The goal is to remove all roadblocks to critical emergency services so
that people can get the help they need as quickly as possible.
Kari’s Law applies to manufacturers, importers, sellers, lessors, and any business that installs, manages or operates an MLTS. “Willful and knowing” noncompliance with the law could lead
to a fine of up to $10,000 and additional penalties of up to $500 per day of noncompliance.
Although organizations have two years to comply with Kari’s Law, a similar law had already been passed in Texas and went into effect on September 1, 2017. Laws have also been
passed in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee and Maine, and are pending in other states and counties as of this writing. Furthermore, failure to promptly implement any needed phone
system changes could put your organization at risk of a civil lawsuit. Written by: Cheryl Cooper Technical Writer. To see her full article visit https://ceriumnetworks.com/karis-law/
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