Saturday

23rd Jul 2016

MEPs to back car crash alert system

  • The electronic device would automatically contact emergency units in case of an accident (Photo: EUobserver)

MEPs are set to strongly back a proposal that would see all cars in the EU fitted with equipment that would automatically locate accidents and call up emergency services by 2009.

Known as eCall, the technology would enable a signal to be sent to operators linked to the 112 number - the pan-European emergency number. The operators would be able to identify where the accident has happened and send out emergency help.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

British Labour MEP Gary Titley argues in his report - to be debated and voted on Thursday (26 April) - that the novelty "could save up to 2,500 lives a year and bring about a reduction of up to 15% in the gravity of injuries."

"The installation of this equipment into cars already enjoys support among car producers and consumers. In a short time, it will be as natural to require it as airbags and some companies such as Peugeot have already started operating the system," Mr Titley told the EUobserver ahead of the debate.

There are different estimates about how much consumers will have to pay for the technology with the European Commission indicating it could be about €30 to €100 per car while the car industry argues it may well be up to €450.

"In any case, the costs - estimated at €4.5 billion - should be significantly lower than what the EU will save by applying this system, calculated as €26 billion per year," said Mr Titley.

The main benefit would be a reduction in the amount of time rescue people would take to get to the scene of the accident - experts argue it would be reduced by around 40 percent in urban areas and 50 percent in rural areas.

In a bid to make the initiative work, the commission has been pressing member states to upgrade their emergency services.

"We need to complete the system underpinning the 112 emergency call which requires that operators can locate those calling - or in the case of eCall, the place of an accident," said the commission's spokesman.

Brussels recently triggered an infringement procedure against 11 countries that still do not have the required infrastructure in place.

"We know that it is a very financially demanding project but all countries are bound by EU legislation to complete this emergency system," he added.

However agreement on the eCall scheme being built in all cars in Europe is based on a voluntary basis, with around ten member states so far having signed up to it, along with a number of car companies.

Germany and Austria have voiced some concerns over privacy issues linked with the initiative.

But for Mr Titley the argument about possible misgivings over civil liberties does not hold.

"We need to stress that the device will be triggered only in case of an accident and only then [will] a person be localised by emergency operators," he said.

Warning over Europe's sugar-guzzling habits

Europeans get through a huge amount of sugary drinks, causing serious risks to their health, a study backed by anti-obesity campaigners suggests. But southern Europe has seen a marked decline in consumption.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Belgrade Security ForumMigration, Security and Solidarity within Global Disorder: Academic Event Agenda for 2016
  2. GoogleHow Google Fights Piracy: Creating Value While Fighting Piracy
  3. EJC"My Visit to Israel" - Opinion by MEP Lopez Aguilar, Chair of the EP Working Group on Antisemitism
  4. World VisionChildren Migrating, Out of School and at Work as Hunger Deepens in Southern Africa
  5. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStand-Up (and Exercise) to Prevent Chronic Diseases
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersLaunches a Real-time News Hub Specialised in EU Stakeholders
  7. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen Calls for International Probe Into Turkey Coup Allegations
  8. GoogleEU-US Privacy Shield: Restoring Faith in Data Flows and Transatlantic Relations
  9. World VisionWorld Leaders & Youth Advocates Launch Partnership to End Violence Vs. Children
  10. Counter BalanceReport: Institutionalised Corruption in Romania's Third Largest Company
  11. Access NowEuropol Supports Encryption. We Can Relax Now… Right?
  12. GoogleLearn about Google's projects across Europe on Twitter @GoogleBrussels

Latest News

  1. Munich attack might not have been terrorism
  2. A very British (and Corbynite) coup
  3. Poland 'changing for the worse' for Muslims and refugees
  4. EU aims to lift visas on Turks despite purge
  5. ECB in ‘bail-out’ of scandal-tainted VW
  6. EU failed to learn lesson from Brexit, Poland says
  7. UK accord on EU workers 'crucial', France says
  8. EU and US take different lines on Turkey crackdown