A European Parliament resolution for cars to automatically dial the emergency services if they are involved in an accident was today welcomed by Labour Euro MPs.

Labour Euro MPs voted in favour of the resolution which recommends that all new cars should be fitted with eCall by 2015. The eCall system is designed to immediately alert the emergency services if an accident occurs, even if the passengers are unable to do so.

 Local Labour Euro MP, Arlene McCarthy said: “Being involved in an accident is any driver’s worst nightmare and cases where victims are unable to call the emergency services are not uncommon.”

 “eCall solves this problem by automatically connecting vehicle occupants to an emergency centre in the event of an accident, whilst simultaneously transmitting basic data on the crash location to an eCall operator.”

“By making eCall compulsory we can ensure that even if there is an accident with no witnesses, the emergency services are able to quickly get to the scene. We hope that this will reduce cases when victims with life-threatening injuries are left trapped and unable to get help,” he added.The European Parliament’s vote on eCall comes less than a week after the UK Department of Transport released figures showing that in 2011 road accident deaths in Britain rose for the first time since 2003.

Arlene added: “The Coalition has taken its eye off the ball when it comes to road accidents, cutting funding for life-saving strategies that should be of highest priority. Given the rising number of crashes in the UK, I am relieved that the European Parliament recognises the importance of maximising road safety standards across the EU.”

According to the Parliament’s report, making eCall compulsory could save as many as 2500 lives a year, and reduce the severity of injuries by 10 to 15 percent.

Arlene said: “The life-saving benefits of eCall are absolutely clear and I hope that the adoption of this resolution will lead to new laws to ensure all new cars use the system by 2015.”