Kids Calling 911?

When should young kids be taught how to dial ‘911’ for an emergency?

Dear Ms. Smartphone: The two earthquakes in Southern California got me thinking about Emergency Responders. I have three young children at home under age five. Should I show them how to dial the ‘911’ emergency number on my cell phone? I’m afraid they will make an accidental call. Beatrice, Corte Madera.

Dear Beatrice: This is something to get shaking about! Many parents probably share your concern. You didn’t mention how old your children are, but VeryWell Family, suggests that most kids over three can complete a 911 call. A well circulated story on social media shows a four year old in the UK that saved his Mom’s life by calling 999.

You will find a number of useful ideas in the link from Colorado, underneath the picture. As you get started:

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Should My Wedding Ban Phones?

Dan Piraro nails the wedding cake. A couple atop the cake  (caketopper) looks down at their respective smartphones.
Artist: @danpiraro.

Dear Ms. Smartphone: I am sending a picture I saw on Instagram. It’s of a bride and groom atop a wedding cake, holding phones in their hands. I am getting married this summer. Is it OK to ask guests to come unplugged? …To not bring their phones to the ceremony? We are getting married outdoors in a meditative and tranquil spot. Buzzing phones might ruin the moment. Briana, San Francisco

Dear Brianna: First of all, congratulations to both of you. I have personally been to a board meeting where I was required to lock up my phone outside, and second, at a school exam where backpacks had to be left at the door. I don’t see harm in your request, although guests will have to forfeit snapping their own pictures as you come down the aisle. If you follow on with a wedding reception, will you want to reneg the rule? The KNOT says ‘yes’.

Should Citizens Use Phones to Report Traffic Violations?

Some communities will let private citizens upload pictures of traffic violations..what’s next?

source: A new spin on handheld phones!

Dear Ms. Smartphone: I read an article about people using smartphones to take pictures of traffic violations, and then forwarding these pictures to a city department that will issue tickets. Is everyone going to be reporting everyone else? Do you think this is a good use of our smartphones? Gregor, Marin City

Dear Gregor : In this case, the devil will be in the details. The NYT article reports that law enforcement officials in Washington, DC are considering this program because traffic fatalities and serious injuries have been on the rise since 2015. (Speculation here, but is this related to more distracted driving and cell phones?)

The article states that only Malibu, Ca. is doing citizen ticketing today. Local volunteers get 96+ hours of training with the LA County Sheriff’s Department. Meanwhile, many cities use ‘411′ type apps that let citizens upload photos of downed tree limbs, potholes, scooter violations, etc. The next step could be traffic violations. But this assumes that time stamps, geocoding, and levels of official review and appeals all support each other. It is a brave new world of smartphones.