MEPs back deal with Council on automatic emergency call system for cars

European Union – An EP/Council deal on a life-saving automatic emergency call system for cars, agreed on Monday evening, was backed by Internal Market Committee MEPs on Thursday. The “eCall” system would use the 112 number to call the emergency services automatically, enabling them to reach crash scenes faster and thus save lives and reduce the severity of injuries. The deal would require all new car models to be equipped with eCall technology from 31 March 2018.

"Too many people die in accidents on Europe’s roads. The eCall system will help to improve road safety by enabling emergency services to locate and reach accident victims much faster. As a public service, eCall will be free of charge for all citizens, whatever car they drive and whatever its purchase price. The new rules will ensure that eCall works only as safety device. It will be illegal to use it to track a driver’s movements or to misuse location data, which must be sent only to the emergency services", said rapporteur Olga Sehnalova (S&D, CZ).

Each year emergency services across the EU deal with road accidents which in 2013 took 26,000 lives.

The in-vehicle eCall system uses 112 emergency call technology to alert the emergency services to serious road accidents automatically. This enables them to decide immediately on the type and size of rescue operation needed, which in turn helps them to arrive faster, save lives, reduce the severity of injuries and cut the cost of traffic jams.

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