Attention Texas Retailers:
Senate Bill 788 (Kari’s Law) will become effective, September 1, 2016. For a multi-line telephone system that provides outbound dialing, Kari’s Law requires direct access to 9-1-1 service without the user having to first dial an initial number, digit, prefix or other access number or code before dialing 9-1-1.
On May 15, 2015, Governor Abbott signed Senate Bill 788 (Kari’s Law). The law represents the culmination of efforts in the aftermath of the murder of Kari Hunt in a motel room in Marshall, Texas. Ms. Hunt’s 9-year-old daughter tried to call 9-1-1 for help four times from the motel room phone. The call never went through because she did not know to first dial “9” for an outbound line before dialing “9-1-1.” On March 1, 2016, Commission on State Emergency Communications Rule 251.16 (Direct Access to 9-1-1 Service) adopted to implement Kari’s Law went into effect.
If needed, a business service user can obtain a one-year waiver (September 1 – August 31) of the law’s requirements upon the timely submission of an affidavit that (1) the business service user made a good faith attempt to reprogram or replace the telephone system; and (2) that reprogramming/replacing of a non-compliant telephone system would be unduly and unreasonably cost prohibitive.