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Crash? EU cars will dial own SOS

2014-02-28 07:58

SAVING LIVES: The eCall system set to be rolled out in 2015 could potentially save thousands of lives. Image: AP

The EU has called for the deployment of an EU-wide emergency call system, eCall, in all passenger cars that will activate in the event of a crash. What’s more, the system will send an SOS to emergency services anywhere in Europe.

BRUSSELS, Belgium – The EU has called for the deployment of an EU-wide emergency call system, eCall, in all passenger cars that will activate in the event of a crash.

VIDEO: How eCall will work

Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats  (S&D) Euro MP Olga Sehnalova led the proposal to equip 2015 passenger cars with the system. The device will automatically dial the 112 emergency number and send details of a crash to rescue services.

The idea is to reduce response times by emergency services.

‘eCALL WILL BE A LIFESAVER’

Sehnalova said: "The deployment of an EU-wide emergency call system in all cars will be a lifesaver. The eCall will allow the rescue services to respond more quickly and it could save around 2,500 lives every year in the EU. The severity of injuries could also be considerably reduced in ten thousands of cases."

"We also made sure citizens' personal data and privacy are protected. The 112 eCall is not a tracking device and vehicles will not be traceable. It is a 'dormant' system which is only active when an accident occurs. Data transmitted through the eCall will be kept to minimum information required for the handling of emergency calls."

S&D group negotiator for the transport committee Zita Gurmai added: "It is also crucial that all EU countries upgrade their public-safety answering point (PSAP) infrastructure by October 2015 to allow eCalls to be properly handled.

"We hope to be able to extend the system in future to other vehicles such as trucks, buses, coaches and agricultural vehicles."

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