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Thailand will soon have the national emergency number 911 as a universal hotline number for the people in the whole nation to call when they need emergency assistance. It is the same emergency call number as the Americans when they need help from the police or fire department.
Government deputy spokesman Maj-Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the 911 national emergency call number will come into force after a draft legislation stating the single emergency call number for the people to make call in case they need help was approved by the cabinet today, and passed 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 call will be automatically redirected to 911 instead.
He also said under the bill approved, false call 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 comprise Royal Thai Police commissioner, minister of Information and Communications Technology, and chairman of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.
The deputy spokesman said two emergency call numbers were proposed by the bill tabled before the cabinet approval. They are 911 emergency numbers used in the US and 112 emergency numbers used in Europe.
However the cabinet chose 911 as a universal emergency number for Thais as 112 might be confused with Article 112 of the Criminal Code which relates to defamation charge, he said.