An emergency call system for road accidents is to be part of all new models of cars and light vehicles in the EU from 2015 onwards. The eCall system will automatically dial the single European emergency number 112 in the event of a serious accident, communicating the vehicle’s location to first respondents even when participants in the accident are unable to call them themselves.
The European Commission has adopted first measures to implement the eCall emergency call system by issuing a recommendation that urges Member States to upgrade their mobile network infrastructure and thus ensure that eCalls are efficiently passed on to emergency services. States are to ensure that mobile operators treat eCalls like other 112 calls, namely give priority to them and not charge for them.
The eCall system will speed up the arrival of emergency teams by estimated 40% in urban areas and 50% in rural areas and is to be activated as soon as in-vehicle sensors detect a serious crash. The system will then dial the European emergency number 112 and send details of the accident to emergency services. This includes the time of the accident, the position of the vehicle and the direction of travel. The eCall system can also be triggered manually, by pushing a button located in the car.
The eCall system will not allow the tracking of vehicles, as it will not be active unless a chrash occurs, and is to cost around 100 EUR per new car to install. It is to be functional by 2015 in all EU Member States, as well as Croatia, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.
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