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Guardian Self Defense and Security Blog

Cellphone - Critical for Highway Safety

Talking on your cellphone while you drive can certainly lead to distraction and accidents — but having a cellphone in your car can be very useful in an emergency situation. In almost any state, you may dial 911 for emergencies, but due to the high volume of calls that 911 operators receive, in some cases it might be better to use the phone numbers listed below, particularly to report highway-safety related "non-emergencies." If you have difficulty reaching these numbers, you can always dial "0" to request help. Some states have special cellphone-only numbers such as *SP (star 77) for State Police or *HP (star 47) for Highway Patrol, to report highway/vehicle related problems. You should use the numbers, below, only to report vehicle breakdowns/problems, accidents, hazardous material spills, or other highway hazards/problems, as well as impaired or aggressive/reckless drivers and other criminal behavior. Use cellphones safely — be aware of laws which prohibit using cellphones while driving. While we work to keep this list current, at any point in time, some of the listings (below) may be out of date. Before you travel, as part of your travel/itinerary planning, we'd urge you to check with the state public safety departments (or their websites) on your planned route for updated/current cellphone contact listings. EXPANDED STATE-BY-STATE LISTINGS Alabama Cellphone-only: *HP (star 47) Alaska 911 Arizona 911 Arkansas 911 or Cellphone-only: *55 (star 55) California 911 Colorado 911 or Cellphone-only: *CSP (star 277) or *DUI (star 384) —to report DUIs Connecticut 911 or (800-443-6817) Delaware 911 Florida 911 or 800-525-5555 or Cellphone-only: *FHP (star 347) Georgia 911 or Cellphone-only: *GSP (star 477) Hawaii 911 Idaho 911 or 800-233-1212 or Cellphone-only: *ISP (star 477) Illinois 911 or Cellphone-only: *999 (star 999) Indiana 911 Iowa 911 or 800-555-HELP (800-555-4357) Kansas 911 (Statewide) or Cellphone-only: *HP (star 47) for Salina, KS *KTA (*482) —Kansas Turnpike and for Wichita, KS Kentucky 911 or 800-222-5555 Louisiana 911 or Cellphone-only: *LHP (star 547) Lake Ponchartrain Causeway: *27 (star 27 —cellphone-only) or 504-893-6250 Maine 911 or Cellphone-only: *SP (star 77) Maryland 911 or Cellphone-only: #SP (pound 77) Massachusetts Cellphones: *MSP (star 677) —in the 413 areacode *SP (star 77) —outside the 413 areacode Michigan 911 Minnesota 911 Mississippi Cellphone only: *HP (star 47) Missouri Cellphone-only: *55 (star 55) or 800-525-5555 Montana 911 (emergency only) or 800-525-5555 (non-emergency) Nebraska 911 or 800-525-5555 or Cellphone-only:*55 (star 55) Nevada 911 or Cellphone-only:*NHP (star 647) New Hampshire 911 or 800-622-2394 or Cellphone-only: *SP (star 77) New Jersey 911 or Cellphone-only: #77 (pound 77 —to report aggressive driving) New Mexico 911 or 505-827-9301 New York 911 North Carolina Cellphone only: *HP (star 47) or 800-662-7956 North Dakota 911 Ohio 911 or 800-525-5555 (OHP) or 800-877-7PATROL (Ohio only, to report non-emergency safety concerns) or 800-GRAB-DUI (to report erratic driving) Oklahoma Cellphone-only *55 (star 55) Oregon 911 Pennsylvania 911 or Cellphone-only: *11 (star 11) —on turnpikes Rhode Island 911 or Cellphone-only: *SP (star 77) or 401-444-1069 South Carolina Cellphone only: *HP (star 47) South Dakota 911 Tennessee Cellphone-only: *THP (star 847) or 615-741-2060 Texas 911 or 800-525-5555 or Cellphone-only: *DPS (star 377) Utah 911 or Cellphone-only: *11 (star 11) Vermont 911 or DWI Hotline: 800-GETADWI and *DWI (star 394 —cellphone-only) Virginia 911 or Cellphone-only: #SP (pound 77) U.S. Virgin Islands 911 Washington 911 West Virginia Cellphone-only: *SP (star 77) Wisconsin 911 Wyoming Cellphone only: #HELP (pound 4357) or 800-442-9090 When in doubt: 0 (zero) —Operator assistance 411 —local directory assistance (area code) + 555-1212 —non-local directory assistance MANY STATES 511 (for Road/Weather/Traffic Conditions) 511 —"America's Traveler Information Telephone Number", providing current road conditions & construction/closure information. About half the states currently have working 511 systems statewide or in some cities/areas. Almost all states have received funding to set up 511 systems. Click here to visit the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (NHWA) "511" webpage for a state-by-state map/listing of 511 systems. Phone numbers for the map/chart (above) were acquired from various state law enforcement agency websites and other online government sources including the NHTSA's Programs Across the United States That Aid Motorists in the Reporting of Impaired Drivers to Law Enforcement, Final Report, March 2007. Information Provided by: The Police Notebook, Copyright © 2007, the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma.
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