A woman involved in a hit-and-run accident in Florida on Monday, Nov. 30, was arrested due to the actions of her own car.
Cathy Bernstein was driving a Ford equipped with 911 Assist, a Bluetooth system that can use a connected phone to call local responders and report details of the accident and location. It can make this call even if the driver can’t, which appears to be what happened in Bernstein’s case — even though she didn’t want it to.
The system will call automatically if it detects that the vehicle’s airbags have been deployed or, in some cases, if the emergency fuel pump shut-off has been activated.
Berstein told dispatch that she had not been in an accident, but that another vehicle had pulled out in front of her and that she didn’t know why the automated system had called.
Police responded to her home, where they saw that the front of the Ford was damaged. After an investigation, Bernstein admitted to have hit another vehicle and then driven away, as well as admitting to telling a Ford representative that she had not been in an accident. She was also found to have been in a previous accident before the hit-and-run, and to have been fleeing from that accident as well.
She was arrested and taken to the St. Lucie County Jail.
According to Ford, the 911 Assist call system will invite the occupants of the vehicle to cancel the call if desired. If the occupants do not respond within 10 seconds, the system will make the call automatically.