Sunday, 24 June 2012

Mandatory eCalls (EU life-saving system)?

Last year we mentioned that the European Commission issued a recommendation to mobile phone operators asking them to transmit eCalls properly (eCalls - towards a European life-saving system). Last week the European Parliament adopted a resolution pursuant to which all new cars should be fitted with eCall devices by 2015. 

An eCall device automatically alerts emergency services about road crashes through the public 112 emergency call system. This is seen as enabling the emergency services to arrive earlier at the scene of an accident, which may diminish the loss of lives and prevent more serious injuries. At the same time, these devices does not enable monitoring of car users' location unless an accident happens, which means that they do not infringe users' right to have their data protected.

Despite the strong support of eCalls in the EU institutions only a small number of cars is fitted with such devices up to now (ca 0,4%). Obviously, the industry does not put priority on deployment of such systems, which led the European Parliament to urge the European Commission to come with an appropriate legislative proposal to make this system mandatory by 2015.

"According to estimates, the eCall system would save up to 2500 lives a year and reduce the severity of injuries by 10 % to 15 %, the resolution states." (MEPs say mandatory emergency eCall system in cars will save lives)

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