The European Transport Safety Council welcomes the final political agreement between the European Parliament and EU member states on mandatory installation of ‘eCall’, a system for sending automated emergency calls from cars in the event of a crash. The deal requires new models of car launched in the EU from 31 March 2018 to be fitted with the system.
Separate legislation, already agreed by the European institutions requires member states to put in place the infrastructure to handle eCalls.
Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of ETSC said:
“Getting emergency services to the scene of a crash quickly is crucial to preventing deaths. So this technology will save lives. However, it’s regrettable that it will be several years before we see all new cars fitted with the system and that other vehicles aren’t covered by the legislation yet. These are missed opportunities to extend the safety benefits further, with little or no justification.
“The European Parliament, and in particular the MEP responsible, Olga Sehnalová as well as the Italian presidency deserve credit for steering this legislation and reaching a deal, notably on the controversial issue of data protection. In the end a good compromise was reached to ensure the data cannot be misused.”
Following the political agreement reached this week, the rules are now subject to formal votes in the European Parliament plenary and by all EU member states, probably by March next year.
Notes to editors:
– Research shows that, with eCall, emergency service response time would be cut by 50% in rural areas and 40% in urban areas. See: www.esafetysupport.info/en/ecall_toolbox/related_studies/.
– The German study “STORM” (Stuttgart Transport Operation by Regional Management), showed almost 50% rescue time improvement in rural areas, with a net gain of around 10 minutes. Rescue time in urban areas would be improved by 40%. See: STORM, Stuttgart Transport Operation by Regional Management (2011).