Brooks, Eshoo introduce National Non-Emergency Mobile Number Act
Congresswomen Susan W. Brooks (R-IN) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) have introduced H.R. 5700, the National Non-Emergency Mobile Number Act, a bipartisan bill which directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to facilitate the creation of a unified wireless number for critical non-emergency situations on our nation’s highways.
“This commonsense, bipartisan bill ensures our 911 telecommunicators can focus on responding quickly and efficiently to phone calls reporting time-sensitive and urgent emergency matters,” said Brooks. “When people are traveling from state to state, the short non-emergency number people call to report an instance deserving of attention but may not classify as an emergency varies across state lines. Designating a code for this specific use promotes a more cohesive and effective public safety response. This bill will make it easier for travelers to contact public safety officials when reporting non-emergency situations and enables our 911 telecommunicators to focus on helping people who are dealing with an emergency.”
“In an interconnected nation, it is essential that we have a streamlined communication system across all states,” said Eshoo. “The National Non-Emergency Mobile Number Act simplifies travelers’ access to assistance in non-dire times, regardless of what state they’re in and eases unnecessary call traffic to 911. I’m proud to partner with Rep. Brooks on this straightforward legislation that will allow emergency call centers to focus on urgent matters and save the lives of those in danger.”
Currently, there are at least 18 different wireless short codes in operation across 29 states throughout the country. Mobile wireless non-emergency numbers primarily used on highways allow individuals, especially the traveling public, to quickly and easily contact public safety officials (typically state highway patrols) in critical times of need that do not exactly rise to the emergency level, such as car malfunctions.
These numbers shift unnecessary calls away from 911 systems to help with congestion and allow emergency call centers, or public safety answering points (PSAPs), to focus on more significant matters. The National Non-Emergency Mobile Number Act directs the FCC to facilitate the creation of a unified wireless non-emergency number. This would help consolidate the multiple numbers existing today, thereby reducing traveler confusion and hastening response times.