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Technology hitch: Car makers like Ford are promoting auto alert system, but Government is not backing network

Author:

ROBIN ROBERTS

Europe’s van drivers, who crash off the road, who are left injured and unconscious, will be automatically flagged up as emergencies by an in-vehicle E-call technology that will become mandatory in the EU by 2015.

For UK drivers who come to grief in the same situation – unfortunately no-one may be listening, the AA cautions. The cost scepticism of previous governments means that a UK system to monitor E-call technology and alert appropriate rescue teams still isn’t emerging in the UK despite the fact many companies are eager and ready to support it.

The head of AA Public Affairs; Paul Watters said: “The UK has an enviable road safety record but future casualty reduction needs technology. The AA would like to see ‘E-call’ as a safety feature on all new cars as it can help notify the emergency services in that vital ‘golden hour’ after a serious crash. Rapid medical attention can be the difference between life and death.”

He believes the UK appears to be very much unprepared to take advantage of this life-saving technology.

Research in 2007, asked the views of 8,000 European drivers, and found that 74% would like E-call in their vehicles. In the UK similarly, 72% of drivers want the system.
An E-call system is slated to:
• Reduce emergency response times by up to 40% in urban areas
• Reduce emergency response times by up to 50% in more rural areas
• Cut fatalities by 5% across the EU

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