Seven more countries have backed the EU’s campaign to equip new cars with a mobile-based emergency call device that would automatically phone for help in the event of an accident.
Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Luxemburg, Malta, Poland and Romania have all signed a non-binding agreement with the European Commission to deploy eCall, the proposed in-car emergency call system.
This means 25 European countries have now committed to launching the scheme, although eCall still isn't available in any EU country. The UK is one of a handful of countries that hasn't endorsed the scheme due to concerns about the cost, estimated by the EC at around €100 per car.
When the eCall device senses a major impact, it automatically sends details of the car's location to the emergency services. In addition, a voice call is set up between the car and the emergency control centre. It's estimated that Europe-wide deployment of the eCall system would save 2,500 lives a year and reduce severe injuries by 15%.