eCall: We have waited too long for the call that could have saved so many lives
Brussels, 14 March 2013
A draft proposal on the emergency call ‘eCall’ system is currently being circulated within Commission services with the goal of implementing the technology by 2015 in all new vehicles. The FIA welcomes the expected publication, following a number of delays.
“Had eCall been implemented in 2009 as planned, using the Commission’s own figures, more than 10,000 lives could have been saved on European roads. We should not wait any longer to introduce this system in all new vehicles”, said Jacob Bangsgaard, Director General of the FIA Region I office, which represents 106 Motoring and Touring Clubs and their 36 million members. The Commission has estimated that eCall will save up to 2,500 lives in Europe every year, and reduce the severity of injuries and trauma in tens of thousands of cases.
A European Parliament own initiative report from July 2012 supported the 2015 introduction date, and also called for eCall to be “based on an interoperable and open-access platform”, saying it should be “accessible free of charge and without discrimination to all stakeholders such as providers of car aftermarket products and services, equipment suppliers, repair shops and independent service providers, roadside assistance and related service”.
Should the Commission fail to address these aspects, attention will then turn to the European Parliament to ensure that consumers reap maximum benefit from the introduction of mandatory eCall. “For sure, eCall and related telematics services should be available for open competition. Consumers pay for the platform, and therefore they should be able to decide from whom they wish to buy additional services,” Mr Bangsgaard said.
Once the proposal is published by the European Commission, it will then need the support of the European Parliament and Council of Ministers (co-decision).
What is eCall?
eCall, an electronic safety system that automatically calls emergency services in the case of a serious car accident, is ready to be deployed across Europe. Even if you are unconscious, the system will inform rescue workers of the crash site's exact location, and the ambulance will be on its way within minutes. The European Commission estimates that eCall will save up to 2,500 lives in Europe every year, and reduce the severity of injuries and trauma in tens of thousands of cases. See more from the European Commission here and an FIA Region I briefing here.
Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) Region I office
FIA Region I represents 106 Touring and Motoring Clubs in Europe, the Middle East and Africa from its Brussels office, which total more than 36 million members. The FIA represents the interest of these members as motorists, public transport users, pedestrians and tourists.
The FIA’s primary goal is to secure a mobility that is safe, affordable, sustainable and efficient. With these aims in mind the work focuses on Road Safety, Consumer Protection, Environmental Protection, and the promotion of Sustainable Motoring.
For more information, please contact Niall Carty, Communications Manager, FIA Region I: firstname.lastname@example.org or 02 282 0812