New vehicles registered to be equipped with eCall system from April 1st
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    New vehicles registered to be equipped with eCall system from April 1st

    Starting from 1 April, all new vehicles will be equipped with automatic emergency technology, eCall (short for “emergency call”), so as to be able to be registered within the EU. The EU directive, adopted in 2011, enters into force on this date in Belgium. The confirmation has been provided by the FPS Public Health. The purpose is to enable the emergency services to arrive more quickly at the scene of the accident.

    The eCall system enables an automatic call for the emergency services, on 112, in the event of a serious accident. The call is activated if the airbag releases. Thanks to the integrated geolocation system in the car, eCall contacts the call centre closest to the accident concerned. The vehicle type is communicated at that point.

    The emergency services can then precisely locate the accident, and try to contact an occupant of the vehicle. In the case of no response, an intervention team immediately goes to the scene of the accident. It is also possible to activate a call on a manual basis, in the event of an accident where the airbag has not been activated, or if the occupant of another vehicle witnesses an accident.

    Some manufacturers have already developed the technology on certain models. The technology will become compulsory on all vehicles being registered. New models offered for sale after 1 April, but registered before this date, do not have the compulsory requirement to be equipped with the system.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times