FCC Claims Butt Dialing Puts A Strain On 911 Emergency Services, Approximately 84 Million Calls A Year Accidental

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News Posted: Sun, Oct 19 2014 10:32 AM
We've all been victims of inadvertent phone calls resulting from a phenomenon known as butt dialing or pocket dialing. It's funny when it happens, though it's not always a laughing matter. According to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Michael O'Reilly, 70 percent of 911 calls are made by wireless devices, and out of those, over half are the result of pocket dialing.

"If my anecdotal experiences are remotely accurate, it would mean that approximately 84 million 911 calls are year pocket dials," O'Reilly says. "This is a huge waste of resources, raises the cost of providing 911 services, depletes PSAP morale, and increases the risk that legitimate 911 calls -- and first responders -- will be delayed.

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Image Source: Flickr (Gwyneth Anne Bronwynne)

If there's a solution to be had, the challenge is finding one that doesn't make it more difficult for people to dial 911 during legitimate emergency situations. One idea O'Reilly came up with is to text consumers whenever 911 is dialed by any active wireless devices.

"If consumers are alerted to the simple fact that they have dialed 911 accidentally, they may take precautions to prevent it from happening again. And such a text would not interfere with emergency services if consumers were facing an actual incident," O'Reilly explains.

Another solution he came up with is to impose penalties for repeat offenders.
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I call BS. I have NEVER butt-dialed someone. Ever. And ive had a cellphone for at least 10 years. These are not butt-dialers, these are people "pranking" or calling 911 and changing their minds.

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jtm55 replied on Sun, Oct 19 2014 2:22 PM

You can call BS if you want however, just because you haven't done it, doesn't mean squat. It always amazes me how folk on the internet are such experts on Everything.

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Dave_HH replied on Sun, Oct 19 2014 4:38 PM

Actually, it depends on the device. My son has a Samsung Galaxy S4 Active that does it to him all the time. Something with lock screens on some devices causes the issue.

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realneil replied on Sun, Oct 19 2014 7:44 PM

It happened to me with my HTC-One, but since I got the new Samsung it hasn't happened yet.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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I don't have 9-1-1 even programmed on my phone. at the very least it would be a redial of the last called number. Also with a lock on the phone its pretty tricky to slide up to make an emergency call via butt cheeks...So I call shenanigans

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Haha butts

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JLeBoeuf replied on Sun, Oct 19 2014 9:58 PM

ugh this is ASSinine

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=/ I had a cellphone that would dial 911 while it was locked. It was actually the only function the phone could perform while locked; and all you had to do was press the send button twice. 3 times I pulled my phone out of my pocket ringing with a callback from the police.

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realneil replied on Sun, Oct 19 2014 10:25 PM

Joseph Pianta:
So I call shenanigans

 

Yes, he sounds like a Carbon based number generator gone wild!

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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seems a bit high

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