In the European Union, more than 25,000 people die each year in accidents, and some 135,000 people suffer severe injuries. According to Swedish experts, every eighth victim of traffic accidents could live if it was transported to the hospital in time.
One of the promising measures to significantly reduce the number of unnecessarily fatalities is the public eCall emergency call system. "In urban areas it should reduce the time of arrival of rescuers to the place of misfortune by up to 40% and in rural areas by even half. This should reduce the number of accident victims by 4% and the number of seriously injured by 6%. In addition, timely reporting of traffic accidents will help reduce the cost of traffic congestion by 3 to 17%, " says Roman Budský from the Road Safety Team.
The system is mandatory to be installed from 31st March this year to all new types of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (total weight up to 3 500kg). The full extension of the eCall service to all vehicles in both categories will be slow, for vehicle types that will be approved before 31 March 2018, there is a possibility to retrofit them on a voluntary basis. The cost of installing the system in a vehicle will not cost more than 100 euros, according to the European Commission, with more massive expansion going down gradually.
"For help, a car equipped with eCall will call automatically. However, his driver may also call on other motorists whose vehicle is not equipped with an automatic emergency call but also injured cyclists or pedestrians. The system can also be activated manually by pressing the SOS button on the dashboard, ensuring connection to the emergency call center and reporting the whole event, " explains Roman Budský.
The system will be free of charge as a public emergency call service throughout the European Union. The organization of the emergency services system remains fully within the competence of the individual Member States. The estimated costs of modernizing emergency call centers amount to an average of approximately EUR 1.1 million per Member State. Calling from eCall can be expected to be accepted in existing emergency call centers. The increase in the operating costs associated with the introduction of the new eCall system should therefore be marginal.
Source: tz TSB
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