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Hotel Group Studies "Kari's Law" Initiative

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Updated: 1/22/2014 7:22 pm
A follow up on Kari's Law, the initiative to make any phone system connect with an emergency operator simply by calling 9-1-1.  Many commercial phone systems utilized by hotels and motels require patrons to dial nine to get an outside line.

This became a nationwide issue in December, when Kari Hunt brought her three children to visit their father who was staying at an inn in Marshall, Texas. Hunt's estranged husband reportedly attacked her with a knife, murdering her in front of the children. A nine-year-old daughter tried calling 911 during the attack, but did not know to dial nine to get an outside line first.

Now, Kari's family is working on a law that would ensure phones automatically reach an emergency operator simply by pressing 911, and not having to dial nine first.

Rob Meyer, the co-owner of Lubbock's Arbor Inn, said phones in his hotel work both ways because he does not want to run the risk of this happening to any of his guests.

"You're going to dial 911, and you're going to dial 9-911," Meyer said. "Because you don't want to feel that, oh my gosh what did I just do by not having it programmed that way?"

Last week, the American Hotel and Lodging Association launched a task force to address the 911 system flaws.
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