POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

ecall compulsory from 31 March



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The ecall device is expected to reduce emergency services' response times by 50% in rural areas and 40% in urban areasPhoto: European Parliament 

Starting 31 March, all new cars and light vans entering the European market will be equipped with ecall systems as standard, however the entire fleet won’t be equipped until 2035.

The ecall system is a European Commission initiative in which vehicles are equipped with an emergency call system which is automatically triggered when a vehicle has an accident.

The device can notify national emergency services or a central manufacturer who will notify emergency services, and send precise information on the location of the vehicle.

An emergency call can also be activated manually by pressing a specific button in case occupants find themselves in a emergency situation requiring the intervention of emergency services.

Under the directive, the customer may, at the time of purchasing of the vehicle, decide on the configuration of the ecall module as to the destination of the emergency calls.

The device is expected to reduce emergency services' response times by 50% in rural areas and 40% in urban areas, leading to an estimated reduction of fatalities of up to 1,500 per year.

According to a statement from the Luxembourg government, the Commission estimates it will take until 2035 before the entire European car fleet is fully equipped with the devices.