The hemicycle of the European Parliament building in Strasbourg, France

Parliament green light for new car emergency call system

  • February 26, 2014

The European Parliament has backed EU plans for all new types of car and van to be fitted with automated emergency call devices (eCall). However, the Parliament backed away from a 2015 deadline for the introduction of the technology, pending discussions with EU member states.

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) said:

“This technology is all about saving lives by saving time. So politicians should waste no more precious months getting this system in place: the deadline of the end of 2015 proposed by the European Commission is feasible for new types of car. Delaying further will just mean more lives lost unnecessarily on Europe’s roads.”

The Parliament vote also includes a request that the European Commission investigate extending the scope of the legislation to other vehicles by 2018. ETSC has called for all drivers and riders to have access to the technology, including building it into lorries, buses and also motorcycles.

Today’s vote included the approval of amendments to strengthen the data protection requirements of the proposed legislation to ensure that only a minimum set of data are stored, and for as limited time as possible.

Before becoming law, a deal will need to be struck with member state transport ministers.

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Notes to editors

– See ETSC’s briefing on eCall

– Research shows that, with eCall, emergency service response time would be cut by 50% in rural areas and 40% in urban areas. See report. 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).

– European Parliament report on eCall approved today.