Thailand will soon change the national emergency number to 911 as a universal hotline number to call when emergency assistance is needed. It is the same emergency call number as in USA for the police or fire department. Government deputy spokesman Maj-Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the 911 national emergency call number will come into force when legislation is approved by the Cabinet today passed it into law.
He said having a single emergency call number could help to prevent confusion caused by the various existing emergency call numbers now in use. But he said that the existing emergency numbers like 191 and 1669 will still be in use but calls will be automatically redirected to 911. He also said under the bill approved, false calls to the 911 emergency numbers will face legal action.
A committee chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will oversee the operation of the 911 emergency calls. Other committee members are the Royal Thai Police Commissioner, the Minister of Information and Communications and the Chairman of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission. The deputy spokesman said two emergency call numbers were proposed by the bill tabled for cabinet approval; they were the 911 emergency numbers used in the US and 112 emergency numbers used in Europe.
However the Cabinet chose 911 as a universal emergency number as 112 might be confused with Article 112 of the Criminal Code which relates to defamation charge, he said.