All Texas businesses with multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) allowing for outbound calls must comply by September 1st with a new state law requiring direct 9-1-1 access. The law requires that anyone making a 9-1-1 call not be required to dial “9” or another prefix to access an outside line for emergency calls.
Kari’s Law, was passes in response to an East Texas incident where a child was unable to call for help from a motel room because she did not know to dial “9” before dialing 9-1-1. On May 15, 2015, Governor Greg Abbot signed Senate Bill 788 (Kari’s Law) in response to an incident where a 9-year old with her two sisters were hiding behind a door in a Marshall, Texas motel room while their mother was being stabbed to death. The child could not call 9-1-1. She attempted the call several times while Brad Dunn repeatedly stabbed Kari Rene Hunt Dunn on December 1, 2013. Dunn is serving a 99-year sentence for the murder.
For-profit and non-profit businesses and organizations as well as government entities, agencies, and political subdivisions who use, own, or lease a MLTS must comply. A one-year waiver must be requested annually for those unable to comply with the Law. The deadline for submitting a waiver is September 1st of each year. Any business needing to implement the waiver can find the form here.