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112 eCall becomes mandatory for new types of vehicles
As of 31 March, the 112-based emergency system "eCall" will become mandatory throughout the EU for new types of passenger cars and light-duty vehicles.
This is the result of legislation passed by the European Union in 2015 on an initiative of the European Commission.
The eCall system automatically dials Europe's single emergency number 112 in the event of a serious road accident and communicates by use of Europe's satellite navigation system Galileo the vehicle's location to the emergency services. The eCall system - which can also be triggered manually - only transmits essential information and does not store or record data. The Commission has already tested manufacturers' eCall solutions in the Joint Research Centre and has issued guidelinesto type-approval centres in January 2018. It is estimated that eCall will cut emergency services response time by 50% in the countryside and by up to 60% in built-up areas, thereby saving hundreds of lives every year and reducing the consequences of injuries.
In 2016, 25 500 people lost their lives on EU roads, while another 135 000 suffered from serious injuries. In order to save more lives and to continue building a Europe that protects, the European Commission is currently working on a new series of road safety initiatives.
They are expected to be presented later in the year.