In today's edition of "this is why we can't have nice things," one of the first text messages sent to using the new Text-to-911 system was sent by someone who was driving. It was the first text sent on the new system in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, which is the fifth county in the U.S. to offer the 911 texting option.
The text was alerting 911 that there was a potential drunk driver on the road, and indicated that the sender of the text was also driving, said county spokesperson Amie Down.
In Pennsylvania, texting while driving has been illegal since March 2012. “This is one that probably should have been better served by a phone call,” Downs said. Officials reiterated that calling 911 is still the most efficient way to get emergency help.
The first county to offer 911 texting was Dauphin County (also in Pennsylvania) and in the seven months they have offered the service (it is offered for Verizon customers only), Emergency Management Director Steve Libhart said they have only received one real emergency text.