Each year millions of cellular telephone calls regarding roadside emergencies and life-threatening accidents pour into New Jersey's emergency call centers. The calls come in through the motorists use of the 9-1-1 System, the #77 Dangerous Driver System, and various other cellular hotlines that have been established. It is very important to use the appropriate system to report incidents you observe, so that the right priority is given to your call and it is properly directed.
Generally, 9-1-1 should be used to report life-threatening emergencies, such as motor vehicle accidents, disabled motor vehicles, all suspected criminal activity, and other general emergencies requiring immediate police or medical service response. 9-1-1 calls are priority calls and services are dispatched immediately.
The #77 Dangerous Driver System should be used to report aggressive or erratic driving that poses a risk to other motorists on the roadway. While these calls are important, 9-1-1 calls are prioritized over #77 calls as required by law. In #77 call response, police services are made aware of the report and respond according to availability and proximity to the incident, as well as, seriousness of the report. This system should not be used to report 9-1-1 emergencies.
Callers are reminded that when using either system, current wireless phone technology does not automatically provide calltakers with the information they need to provide appropriate response to the emergency. That's why it is important for all wireless users to remember to provide calltakers with the exact location of the incident (roadway, direction, milepost), type of emergency, description of those involved(vehicle registration, make, color), and a callback phone number.
As always, safety of the motorists is our first concern, so if you need to use the above services when driving, please pull over to a safe place, and then provide as much specific information as possible. The more detailed information you provide, the quicker we can help.
Thank you. Together, we can all help New Jersey's 9-1-1 & #77 systems help you.
Colonel Joseph R. Fuentes
New Jersey State Police