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NEW WIRELESS PHONE ALLIANCE A BOOST FOR TRAFFIC SAFETY

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

NEW WIRELESS PHONE ALLIANCE A BOOST FOR TRAFFIC SAFETY

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
March 4, 1997

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 4, 1997
NHTSA 13-97
Contact:  Phil Frame
Tel. No. (202) 366-9550

SAN FRANCISCO -- A new public-private partnership between the federal government and the cellular telephone industry will promote a uniform emergency phone number for wireless phone users, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced yesterday.

"NHTSA, the Federal Communications Commission and the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) have agreed to support a single emergency number similar to the 911 system in place for conventional phones," said NHTSA Administrator Ricardo Martinez, M.D.

"I'm happy that NHTSA, the FCC and the CTIA are combining efforts to provide the national leadership needed to address the challenges of implementing this universal link to emergency care and promote its adoption across the country," said Dr. Martinez, speaking to CTIA members gathered for the association s annual meeting. At NHTSA we believe in partnerships like this that can improve the quality of life for all.

"The 44 million cellular phone subscribers nationwide need rapid and reliable access to emergency care, whether they call for themselves or other people they see in need," Dr. Martinez said. "Cellular users who call for emergency services should not have to figure out exactly where they are so they have the correct emergency number for that jurisdiction," he added.

Dr. Martinez said he also was pleased that the CTIA has joined forces with NHTSA to promote NHTSA's Make the Right Call program, which aims to instruct the public on how to make an emergency call, and when and when not to use 911.

"The goal is to make sure that emergency lines remain open for emergency calls and are not tied up with calls for non-emergency information," said Dr. Martinez. "Every cellular subscriber can be a link to an emergency medical service. Working together, we can expand America's safety net."



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