Fleet News

EC makes urgent plea to keep eCall on course

THE European Commission has called for urgent action to be taken to ensure the roll-out of automatic emergency call (eCall) technology in new cars remains on track for 2009.

Officials have voiced concerns that an action plan they agreed with industry in 2005 to add eCall to new cars has stalled.

The system works by calling the emergency services in the event of a crash using a single European number, 112, which reports the vehicle’s exact location.

In a status report, the EC said: ‘While there has been significant progress at European level, some member states have been slow to invest in infrastructure and industry now refuses further action.’ Viviane Reding, EU commissioner for Information Society and Media, said: ‘We urgently need to get eCall back on track. We have the technology.

‘Now we need member states and industry to move up a gear and help us make Europe’s roads safer sooner rather than later.’

EC officials believe eCall will save up to 2,500 deaths every year and have now given member states clear actions with deadlines for solving any legal, technical and other issues.

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