Prendergast says auto emergency calling system must be in all cars

Labour MEP for Munster, Phil Prendergast welcomed today’s vote in the European Parliament demanding that all new cars be fitted with the automated eCall system across the EU from 2015 onwards.

Labour MEP for Munster, Phil Prendergast welcomed today’s vote in the European Parliament demanding that all new cars be fitted with the automated eCall system across the EU from 2015 onwards.

The new system is designed to automatically send your location to the nearest emergency services after a serious car crash, anywhere in Europe, even if the occupants are unconscious.

Speaking from Strasbourg, where she addressed the European Parliament on the issue at a debate yesterday, Ms. Prendergast said: “Full implementation of the automated eCall system could allow us to save thousands of lives on our roads every year and reduce the severity of injuries. Unfortunately, the take-up of this system, which has been an EU priority for 10 years, remains negligible and confined to the luxury car market.”

Ms. Prendergast also pointed to the benefits of such a system for rural Ireland: “I am particularly eager to see the benefits of eCall materialise in rural areas, where the system has the potential to reduce emergency response times by half.

“It is obvious that the market-led approach taken so far has failed, and will fail, to mainstream this life-saving technology.

“Lives can be lost on rural roads, in isolated areas, especially when the precise location of the vehicle cannot be established.”

“The Commission’s impact assessment clearly demonstrates the necessity to legislate in this sense so as to secure universal adoption and economies of scale.”