Recently, a viewer reached out, wondering about dialing 1-1-2 in an emergency.

Frank Beamon wrote, “I’ve seen on Facebook a few times about dialing 1-1-2 in an emergency. Is this legit and what’s the difference between dialing 1-1-2 and 9-1-1?”

Turns out, this is a common question. Recently, many posts circulated, telling people to dial 1-1-2 if they were being pulled over and suspected the person behind them was not a police officer or to let said officer know you will not be pulling over until you reach a safe place. So, we did some checking.

VERDICT: It’s false. Greensboro Police and Greensboro Metro both confirmed, 1-1-2 is not an emergency number (at least, not here in America, but we’ll get to that in a second.)

Susan Danielson, with GPD, said you should call 9-1-1 if you have concerns about the person pulling you over (i.e. if they are in an unmarked car or you would like to see another officer or want to reach a safe location.) Melanie Neal with Guilford Metro explained 9-1-1 is the emergency number in the United States, and 1-1-2 is an international number.

So, 1-1-2 is indeed an emergency number- but for Europe, not America. And, according to our partners at WUSA dialing 1-1-2 in the U.S. will get you to 9-1-1.

Why? Some cell phone providers in the U.S. will forward any call to the 1-1-2 to the correct 9-1-1.

“Some carriers automatically translate the 1-1-2 number, which is the emergency number in many European countries to 9-1-1 here in the US. Some do not. It is a wireless carrier’s business decision to do that on their network. The Office of Unified Communications, which provides 9-1-1 service in the District of Columbia has no ability to track calls from any other number other than 9-1-1 because it is converted at the carrier network level. That’s why we urge everyone in need of emergency services to call 9-1-1 directly," said Alan Etter with Office of Unified Communication.

So, bottom line. If you have an emergency (and you’re in America), just dial 9-1-1.


Help our journalists VERIFY the news. Do you know someone else we should interview for this story? Did we miss anything in our reporting? Is there another story you'd like us to VERIFY? Click here.