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Senator Bertino-Tarrant's universal 9-1-1 proposal signed into law

SB3313 Signing 1F

A measure to ensure that 9-1-1 can be dialed from any phone line was signed into law on Monday.

State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood), who sponsored the legislation in the Senate, feels that the universal number that we teach children to use in case of emergencies should always work.

“The three digit emergency number that we learn should work from anywhere,” Bertino-Tarrant said.  “This is a common sense approach to better safety.”

The new law requires newly installed business phone systems to allow users to dial "9-1-1" without needing to pre-dial a code, such as "9."

The law stems from a tragedy that occurred in Texas last January. The universal number that we teach our children to dial in emergencies did not work when a 9 year-old girl attempted to dial it from a Texas hotel room, as her mother was being stabbed to death.

The hotel, like many hotels and business complexes nationwide, was on a closed business circuit and the young girl didn’t realize that she needed to dial a 9 to reach an outside line.

 “Children and adults must be able to easily reach emergency operators in a time of crisis,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This law will help ensure that senseless tragedies are prevented.”

The new law will go into effect July 1, 2015.