Kari Hunt, the bill’s namesake, was murdered by her estranged husband in a Texas motel room in 2013. Her 9-year-old daughter attempted repeatedly to call 911 from the room during the crime but was unaware the motel required a prefix to reach an outside line. The tragic events led Hank Hunt, Kari’s father, to embark on a national effort advocating for policies at the state, local, and federal levels requiring default MLTS configuration for direct dialing of 911. Various states, including Texas, have already enacted their own versions of Kari’s Law.
On February 16, 2018, President Trump signed legislation placing new requirements on multi-line telephone systems (MLTSs). The bill, called Kari’s Law, requires MLTSs to have a default configuration allowing users to directly dial 911 without additional digits or prefixes. Many MLTSs utilized in locations such as hotels, office buildings, and university campuses require users to dial an additional number or prefix to reach an outside line.
The direct dialing requirement will become effective on February 16, 2020 (two years after enactment) and will apply to all MLTS deployments after that date.