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News :: Björn Steiger Foundation joins European initiative "eCall" for quicker rescue services

Björn Steiger Foundation joins European initiative "eCall" for quicker rescue services

(16/04/2008) The eCall Memorandum of understanding (eCall MoU) was signed today on behalf of the Björn Steiger Stiftung. With its signature, the Stiftung commits to actively support the timely implementation of eCall. The signature was given by Pierre-Enric Steiger, managing director of the foundation.

"We are very pleased to have the Björn Steiger Stiftung on board", said Rudolf Strohmeier, Head of Cabinet of Viviane Reding, Commissioner for the Information Society and Media, who hosted the signatory event in the Berlaymont building.

"The base of the Foundation was the tragic death of Björn Steiger in a traffic accident in 1969. Björn Steiger died because the ambulance arrived too late at the accident scene. Quicker rescue services could have saved his life. Speeding up emergency services however is exactly what eCall is about. Joining forces for eCall therefore is a logical step for the Foundation and the Commission, and we are delighted that it has been taken today" concluded Strohmeier.


The Björn Steiger Stiftung is an emblematic private foundation in Germany. It was founded by the parents of Björn Steiger, who died after a traffic accident in 1969. He did not die of his immediate injuries, but of the shock that was caused by them. His life could have been saved, had the rescue services arrived more quickly at the accident scene. Since 1969, the first and foremost goal of the Foundation has therefore been to diminish the response time of the emergency services.

The pan-European in-vehicle emergency notification system eCall is a device that automatically calls the nearest emergency centre in the event of a serious accident. During the call, which can also be triggered manually using a button on the dash board, the exact location of the accident scene is transmitted to the centre even if there is no voice connection because e.g. all passengers lost consciousness. The knowledge of the exact location reduces the response time of the rescue teams by 40 % in built-up areas and 50 % in rural environments. 2.500 lives could be saved in the European Union annually, and 15 % of serious injuries mitigated, were all European cars equipped with eCall.

A photo from the signature event will be available as from tomorrow on the eSafety website

For more information about eCall, please go to the eSafety Support website

or the Intelligent Car website

More information about the European Commission's Intelligent Car Initiative