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21-06-2012

Life-saving eCall system in all new cars by 2015, say MEPs

From 2015, all new cars sold in the EU should be able to dial emergency services when they are involved in a serious accident, say MEPs in a non-binding report jointly adopted by the transport and internal market committees on 19 June.

How it will work: a damaged car will make a 112 emergency call (eCall) as soon as its sensors (e.g. airbag sensors) register a crash. It could also be activated manually by pushing a special button in a car. The system will automatically transmit data about location and time of a crash to the nearest emergency response centre.

Member States will have to upgrade their infrastructure so that eCalls are efficiently passed on to emergency services.

Currently, only 0.7% of all passenger vehicles in the EU are equipped with automatic emergency call systems. The eCall device is estimated to cost less than €100 per new car to install. According to estimates, it would save up to 2,500 lives a year.

The plenary vote will be on 3 July 2012. A legislative proposal from the European Commission is expected by the end of 2012.