Pocket dials

To the Editor:

That was a great article the Islander published last week about cell phone “pocket dials” to 911 and their cost to the community.

There is a solution to some of those accidental calls. Simply implement forward looking legislation that requires cell phone manufacturers to reduce or eliminate the 911 retained in the memory (last number dialed) of the phone.

I think that this should be reasonably easy to implement (in spite of automatic resistance by the phone manufacturers) in new models and in phones that have software upgrade features.

Because people get new cell phones frequently, it will take just a few years to flush old phones out of the systems.

I suggest we start working on our state legislators, and with their support, direct the effort to the federal government so that the problem is dealt with on a national level.

I have experience with accidental calls to 911. I had dialed 911 to report a severe traffic hazard on I-295 north of Augusta. A day later, I apparently made an accidental 911 pocket redial while on Route 3 in Bar Harbor. The mistake was handled professionally by the Hancock County dispatcher and the non-emergency dispatch line in Bar Harbor.

Reducing 911 redials also will have the benefit of reducing calls from dispatchers to people when they are driving, thereby reducing the potential for driver distraction.

This solution should appeal to states that prohibit drivers from using hand-held phones while driving.

Richard Bullock

Bar Harbor