At the signature event of the eCall MoU Mrs. Guusje ter Horst, Dutch Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations stated: " It is very important to reduce the response time of emergency services, this will save lives and also reduce the severity of injuries caused".
Commissioner Viviane Reding congratulated The Netherlands for joining the countries having committed to the pan-European implementation of the eCall service. "I welcome the commitment of The Netherlands, shown not only by signing the MoU, but also by having an implementation plan which reflects the Dutch Emergency Response Services' ability to receive eCalls by 2008. This is an important step and paves the way for other European countries to advance towards the full deployment of eCall."
In its September 2007 Communication on the Intelligent Car, the Commission called on Member States to reinforce their efforts and to mobilise all stakeholders to make eCall a reality soon. The Commission is also negotiating with the automotive industry to install eCall equipment in cars by 2010. In addition it promotes eCall deployment by supporting standardisation, field tests and public awareness campaigns.
In the event of an accident, eCall technology calls the emergency services using the single European emergency number, 112, and reports the crash site's exact geographical location. An eCall may be triggered automatically, or manually, by someone in the vehicle. The availability of accurate location information drastically cuts emergency response time. Estimates suggest that this could save up to 2,500 lives in Europe each year, and lead to less severe injuries in 15% of all non-fatal cases.
The countries that had previously signed the eCall Memorandum of Understanding are: Austria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and, from outside the EU, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.