Crash alert system rejected by Government

May 6 2015  

Crash alert system rejected by Government
Hundreds of lives could be saved on European roads every year following a ruling that all new vehicles will soon be fitted with an emergency call system that activates following a crash.
The European Parliament voted last week that the so called eCall system will be mandatory on all new cars and vans manufactured after 31 March 2018.
But the UK Government remains opposed to its introduction, a Department for Transport spokesman has confirmed.
Transport Minister Clare Perry told a meeting of the Transport Select Committee in March: “According to our analysis the benefits of making eCall mandatory in all new cars does not justify the cost of implementing it; I believe it was something like £370M.”
She added that “given the increasing responsiveness of our road network” such as with Smart Motorways – where emergency services are alerted to any incident – “we did not feel that it was appropriate for the UK.”
In the House of Commons last December the Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said: “The UK does not support the proposed mandatory installation of eCall. Motorists should be free to choose a third party eCall system if they wish.”
The AA Motoring Trust disagreed with the Government’s stance. “We welcome eCall simply because there are too many cases of people crashing in remote areas where such a system may have saved their lives,” a spokesman said.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents head of road safety Kevin Clinton also welcomed the decision to make eCall mandatory on all new vehicles. “Ecall can significantly reduce emergency services’ response time because it automatically calls the emergency services when it detects a severe impact.”
Meanwhile the Institute of Advanced Motorists has warned that car manufacturers are too often building high-tech distractions into their new vehicles. Chief executive Sarah Sillars said drivers should not be able to use certain non-essential forms of technology while a vehicle is in motion.
“Technology could be a great way of helping to cut the numbers of people killed and seriously injured on our roads,” she said. “It would be a tragedy if technology became a reason why more, rather than less, people lose their lives.”
(Photo: Lee Haywood and licenced for reuse under this Creative Common Licence)

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