EU is making automatic emergency calling mandatory for cars

The European Parliment just voted to enact a measure to make Europe's highways a bit safer. Automatic emergency dialing service, eCall, will be installed in all new passenger cars and trucks within the EU. The service is designed to aid car accident victims by automatically calling 112 (the European equivalent to America's 911) in the case of a crash. Last year, over 25,700 people lost their lives from European road accidents. The eCall system is expected to cut the EU's annual death toll from car accidents by 10%.

According to MEP Olga Sehnalov√°, eCall is, "a public service, free of charge for all citizens, irrespective of the type of vehicle or its purchase price." Yet, it is still expected to slightly increase the consumer price of a new vehicles featuring the system.

In a serious car wreck, time is of the essence as delays in care could be a matter of life and death. Once eCall's response system is in place, it's estimated that emergency response time could be cut by 40% in urban areas and 50% in rural areas.

The issue was first brough up in 2012, but the EU parliament couldn't reach a decision after weighing the users' right to privacy against the device's utility. Now, the ruling details that all eCall data must not be sent to third parties without a user's consent (which may or may not appear in an undoubtedly long TOS agreement.) Another step, ensuring privacy, is that data is supposed to be capable of being completely deleted from the system.

The rule will be in effect across all EU countries by March 31st, 2018.