The perils of butt-dialing - New York News

The perils of butt-dialing

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Some might say cell phones are taking over the world. The U.N. Telecom Agency says there are now nearly as many cell phone subscribers as people in the world. That means a whole lot more people are accidentally butt dialing emergency call centers.

According to a new report by the Daily, 40 percent of all 911 calls this year were accidental. The same report said 100 million illegitimate calls were made nationwide in 2011.

New Yorkers are among the biggest "butt dialing" offenders. Last spring, an independent consultant's report on the city's emergency communications system revealed that 38 percent of the 10.4 million calls to New York City 911 call centers in 2010 were accidental -- nearly 11,000 false calls a day.

The new national report said responders are struggling to handle all the unintentional calls. They are required to stay on the phone even if there is silence to find out if the call is related to an emergency, leading to less efficient response times to real emergencies.

The surge in calls can be explained by people not locking their phones, having 911 on speed dial or having an emergency call function on their phones.

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