Bill Stops “Hogging” of Party Lines for Fire Calls

Bill Stops “Hogging” of Party Lines for Fire Calls

Having in mind the disastrous results of telephone party line subscribers “hogging” the phone when someone is trying to put through an emergency call for fire or other services, Governor Thomas E. Dewey of New York State has signed a bill making it a misdemeanor for any such interference.

The Bill is known as An Act to amend the penal law, in relation to malicious obstruction of emergency telephone calls, and it adds a new Section to the penal law of the State known as 1424-a to read as follows:

Party Line: Refusal to yield in emergency.

  1. Any person who shall wilfully refuse to immediately relinquish a party line when informed that such line is needed for an emergency call to a fire department or police department or for medical aid or ambulance service, or any person who shall secure the use of a party line by falsely stating that such iitie is needed for an emergency call, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
  2. “Party line” as used in this section means a subscribers line telephone circuit, consisting of two or more main telephone stations connected therewith, each station with a distinctive ring or telephone number. “Emergency” as used in this section means a situation in which property or human life are in
  3. jeopardy and the prompt summoning of aid is essential.
  4. Every telephone directory hereafter distributed to the members of the general public in this state or in any portion thereof which lists the calling numbers of telephones of any telephone exchange located in this state shall contain a notice which explains the offense provided for in this section, such notice to be printed in type which is not smaller than any other type on the same page and to be preceded by the word “warning” printed in type at least as large as the largest type on the same page: provided, that the provisions of this section shall not apply to those directories distributed solely for advertising purposes, commonly known as classified directories, nor to any telephone directory heretofore distributed to the general public. Any person, firm or corporation providing telephone service which distributes or causes to be distributed in this state copies of a telephone directory which is subject to the provisions of this section and which do not contain the notice herein provided for shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

This Act shall take effect October first, nineteen hundred fifty-four.”

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