New EU rules could see automatic 999 call after crash
New cars will be fitted with a tracking device that automatically alerts emergency services if a car crashes, under EU law.
The eCall system has sensors to call the nearest emergency services centre when a car crashes, this new eCall system could be made law by 2015.
The EU has ignored the privacy fears, saying it could save up to 2,500 lives a year.
However the UK hasn’t signed to the eCall system due to high costs.
The eCall system transmits the exact location of the vehicle and other data, such as the make of the car, and establishes a voice connection with the emergency services operator.
The EU has been trying to introduce the eCall system for almost ten years, but attempts to bring it in with out the power of law have failed.
The technology is already being used by some car manufacturers but only a small proportion of cars in the EU (0.4%) are currently fitted with the system.
The Commission now wants it to be law for all cars made in the EU, at a cost of around £100 for each device, when fitted in the factory.
The eCall system could reduce road deaths by 50%, saving thousands of lives each year.
More EU policies not worth the money?
The UK is concerned about the cost of the EU law forcing Britain to use the eCall system. There would be better safety features to develop than the money waisted on the eCall system, as the UK already has a good road safety record, better in fact than all other EU countries.
Transport minister Mike Penning said “Britain has some of the safest roads in the world and technology has an important role to play in this, but it is important that each initiative is carefully considered on its merits.
“After considering the results of independent research we are concerned that the benefits of making eCall mandatory in all new cars will not justify the cost of implementing it in the UK. We have decided, therefore, that it would not be appropriate for the UK to support mandatory installation of eCall at this stage.
There for the eCall system may benefit some countries, but not Britain due to there being more important areas to spend public money on road safety.
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