Members of the European Parliament are backing calls for a mandatory eCall scheme, forcing every car sold in Europe to be fitted with an embedded mobile communications device to save an estimated 2,500 lives. The European Commission has already adopted eCall, which mandates the fitting of a mobile device in every private car …
If you think you are NOT living in a world where a price tag is hung over your right to stay alive you are kidding yourself. Cost benefit analysis is applied to all areas where public safety or survival has to be considered, and not just to transport. Healthcare is a good example, otherwise there would be a full A&E hospital in every small town and village. Another would be why you don't see individual seatbelts and airbags and a complete prohibition on standing on trains, high cost against low chance of accident.
@AC. The unfortunate truth (whether we like it or not), is that a cost is attributable to a life. This will vary from person to person according to all sorts of attributes. Whilst everyone would like to think that their life is beyond value and any amount will be spent to keep them alive, simply looking at the NHS proves the lie to that. People are regularly denied treatment on the grounds it is not cost effective. Someone is taking a decision that £x is not worth an additional y months of life or the z chance of being cured. Lives have price tags assigned to them and whilst not a pleasant thought, anything else is fantasy.
Spot on, actually reckoned to be about a one to three ratio. Every seriously injured soldier takes the efforts of three full-time people to look after him. That ratio was first hit in the Korean war, with the advent of helicopter Medivac getting troops who would previously have died to the new-fangled MASH units.
The more serious the injury, the more effort is involved in keeping the poor sod alive and the longer the recovery period, requiring greater investment of care time. Hence the modern deformable nose or "tumbling" bullets of low calibre, which are designed to maim horribly rather than kill.
Re: @AC 13.34
"@AC 13.34" (that's me, I think)
"If you think you are NOT living in a world where a price tag is hung over your right to stay alive you are kidding yourself."
Yes, of course you're right. As it happens, I'm an ex-EMT and have another professional qualification in a safety critical industry where the cost/incidence equation is very much present. From that experience, I am comforted by the knowledge that such cost is sensibly high and going up not down, even in spite of all the recent cuts.
Having experienced the crude reality of accidents in a professional capacity, I say may it long stay like that, notwithstanding the abundance of dysfunctional idiots who sit in front of a computer screen and watch gory videos to bring some excitement into their sad lives. Perhaps they should be sent to e.g., Central America or West Central Africa to gain an appreciation for what cheapening the cost of life entails.
I'll happily take £4m, the eurocrats can keep the £1m change and I'll promise never to drive again. There, saved you a million on me and I can't be killed in my own car. Super easy to implement too.
Step 2: Wire the phone to the ECU for Kill Switch SMS Lulz
Frog Boiling Continues
I have given this article a low rating for not including any references whatsoever to the information being reported. Now I can see that it's a rehash of the European Parliament's press release from two days ago, which can be found here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/pressroom/content/20120703IPR48185/html/Life-saving-emergency-eCall-system-should-be-mandatory-say-MEPs
For those (few?) interested on what was actually proposed, the text of the relevant plenary session (3-Jul-2012) can be found here, as a Word document: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//NONSGML+TA+20120703+SIT+DOC+WORD+V0//EN&language=EN (eCall bit starts on page 241), and the relevant background, the so-called Sehnalova-Koch report, is here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2009_2014/organes/imco/imco_20120618_1530.htm
As for the author regaling us with his point of view (based on what if I may ask? a press release?), just give me the data so I can make up my own mind, thank you.
Re: Article Quality
Thanks for the links, but the Sehnalova-Koch report disn't appear particularly enlightening, other than the eurocrats think this is a great idea. Whilst following the logic of the "golden hour" idea, is there any clear evidence that this will actually save lives based on credible analysis of pilot schemes involving reasonable scale, and on a basis that is applicable territory by territory?
So I suppose I'm asking the same question "give me the data so I can make my own mind up". But as the EU has decided we should all have this, maybe we shouldn't worry about the evidence as they've already made the decision for us.
Re: Article Quality
The golden hour is a well known and proven medical concept. It's true for anyone injured and is current practice in Afghanistan and one of the reason why a chinook is used for injured soldiers. Get's the medics there quickly and then everyone back to the hospital. However, keeping people alive has a cost, just as much as people dying!!
reduce false positives...
When triggered why not have it call the car itself first, if there is no answer within 30 seconds or they say help! It dials 112, otherwise it just sends a text to a non emergency number (for catching hit and runs for example), presumably you would want the 112 operator to talk to the person if possible to attain the appropriate response
Re: reduce false positives...
Everyone seems a little more interested in black helicopters and cries of 'Big Brother!' than paying any attention to sensible suggestions such as yours. A similar and non-compulsory system is already in place (in my car for example) and I described it in my post on page one. The emergency signal from the car is monitored by the manufacturer. The drivers response or lack of determines the course of action taken.
First call to the insurance company?
Insurer: I see you've had a prang sir
Driver: Erm, yes
Insurer: Did the police attend?
Driver: yes, but there was little damage and I won't be making a claim
Insurer: doesn't matter sir; it's not on your insurance record. We will make sure to screw you for more next year. Have a nice day.
I wonder how much other information said system might supply to the emergency services / insurers?
Am I cynical?
This sort of kit in cars opens the way for pay-per-mile road charging and variable insurance premiums charged according to when/where/how dangerously you drive .
I actually think these are both good things - I reckon road charging is the only way to really kill congestion, and rewarding safe drivers with lower insurance premiums might make some of the many nutters on Britain's highways change their ways.
But others might disagree.
"rewarding safe drivers with lower insurance premiums might make some of the many nutters on Britain's highways change their ways."
You jest. Collect a few points, and your insurance rockets. Collect a couple of "at faults" your insurance rockets. Buy and drive a fast car, your insurance rockets. Modify your car, your insurance rockets. Avoid these things, and your insurance cost declines dramatically. But does this have any bearing on the standard of driving? Not that I can see. Those born to drive like idiots always have and always will drive in that way, whether that means selling their step-grandmother to pay the insurance, driving without insurance at all, lying to the insurer to secure a lower premium, or simply getting a job with a company car.
As for road charging, yeah, let's price the poor off the roads. Top social conscience you've got there.
Re: @ Jody
I think it's you that is jesting. I've yet to see my insurance costs decline in any significant way in over 20 years of motoring.
I had points on my licence many many years ago, it added £20 a year to my insurance.
Never been at fault in an accident - the only 2 that my car was involved in whilst I was in it were rear enders, oddly at the same round-about both times, though 10 years or so apart; the other 2 were whilst the car was parked and were hit & run. In all cases my premiums went up.
The day I see my insurance actually go down (and I mean go down without having to shop round different companies to find a better deal), I think I will actually have a heart attack.
Great idea. Make driving too expensive for people that they can't afford to get to work. They sell the car, then sit at home on the dole. Leaving lovely clear roads for the rich. Genius, real genius.
Re: @ EvilGav 1
Your story regarding your claims confuses claim related risks with behaviour related risk. You might not be at fault for these, but the insurers know from experience you're more likely to be involved in subsequent claims, and we're also talking about no claims, not no blame. There's a whole host of pecularities to the way insurance is priced (eg no-claims bonus has a very low predictive value on future claims), but what we're discussing here is whether risky drivers are charged higher premiums. Just playing around with the parameters next time you renew your insurance will establish this, either that or try modifying your car, racking up two or three offences etc.
Insurance costs do go down in relative terms if you avoid the sort of risky behaviours being considered here, and that's why my insurance premium is less than £300 a year, fully comp, protected NCD, plus other extras added. That's a lot less than I was paying twenty years ago, when I was younger, rasher, drove a GTi, and believed I was an excellent driver. And that's without taking account of inflation.
I think you'll find that (probably in response to government encouragement) the insurers have started adding more to premiums in response to penalty points. Your £20 would be a bargain (more like £50 over the "life" of the points though), given that a male driver in their early twenties would now get a loading of 20% on an average premium of over £2.5k. You can check those out with the same sort of web search I've just done, but they're from MSE, so should be fair. So for a young driver now copping their first three points, that's five hundred quid a year added in year one of renewal, and with no other risk factors or claims would be roughly adding £400 in year two, and £300 in year 3 assuming the NCD is applied to the "points premium". That's £400 per point, for a bog standard 3 point offence. Older drivers don't have such high loading, so in my case (grizzled old b@stard) I'd get a 10% loading, and that would be on my base premium of around £240, so £24 in year one, around £65 in the period it sits on my licence.
"really worth spending that much money to save 2,500 lives"
Ask friends and family of the deceased.
€100 on the price of a car for this is well worth it!
"€100 on the price of a car for this is well worth it!"
given that its my life that will be lost, shouldnt it be me that gets to make the choice? i suppose if my family care enough, then they could pay the €100 instead. However, given the fact that 'voluntary uptake has been derisory' it seems fairly clear that most people dont consider their life to be worth this cost - which surely is their choice to make? (especially since if my life is 'saved' in this manner, its entirely likely that i'll be left with a life i dont particularly want anyway - ie, crippled.)
if it will save 2500 lives (likely a high estimate), out of 250million drivers, then its a 1 in 100000 chance that it will help you, as an individual. its better odds than the lottery i suppose, but still worse odds than i'd tend to bet €100 (probably a low estimate) at...
"given that its my life that will be lost"
Or passengers, pedestrians, other third parties, etc.
People often make risk assessment on how much it costs rather than the benefit of the risk mitigation itself.
Anyway the cost is borne by the initial consumer, a ubiquitous system such as this will not hold any particular value to second-users.
@ravenviz Your statement assumes we have an infinite amount of cash, and can carry out everything that can save lives. We can't. the €12.5bn you want to save 2500 lives could save 10, 100 maybe even 1000 times as many lives if spent appropriately. You're happy with that? I'm for the maximum benefit (most lives saved per €) personally, and this isn't it by a long shot. This policy is for votes, or some other EU alterior motive.
I think we should at least try where we have control. Comparing one spend to the detriment of the potential of another is not useful, this programme is about saving lives after car accidents, not whether the third world are in poverty and dying of malaria, that is a different spend that has its own programme.
"Or passengers, pedestrians, other third parties, etc."
then i'd imagine it should be those passengers, pedestrians, or other third parties who should have this system with them, if they think its so important. but honestly, any pedestrian that i've hit hard enough that *i'm* not the one calling the emergency services (but my car wouldve been), isnt likely to be surviving that regardless. as for passengers i'm perfectly happy to tell them that in the event i crash, theres no automatic 999 call, and they're welcome to find a different car to travel in instead.
this is shit risk mitigation - spending this much to save a life is a waste of money that could save many more lives. (and no, i'm not talking about random lives in other countries, as honestly i'm not that much of an altruist. forcing every driver in the EU to spend a bit of cash on a Defensive Driving course would be a MUCH more significant way of saving lives - if that was the actual objective, here.
but i suppose the auto industry is actually quite happy with a lot of accidents happy, so long as people survive, as that way those people buy replacement cars... just cutting down on the number of accidents doesnt do the auto industry any favors at all...
999? hello , this is T567THG , my driver has hit something at lat long xxxx , speed 50mph , and I think he's pissed!
useless in devon
I travel a lot around the back roads of Devon. Usually I don't get a mobile phone signal. So, I'm paying more for a new car with no benefit to me. Well done Brussels ⇐ knobends!
No doubt there'll be a a little wire from the battery to these things. No-one can track my whereabouts if I snip the wire.
Re: useless in devon
Until they make checking the SnoopBox(tm) part of the MOT!
They tried to fail my MOT for having an air-freshner hanging on the rearview mirror last time! I was lucky I got away with a simple telling-off as it was Friday afternoon and the tester was in a good mood!
So you don't think they would have a field day making sure you haven't buggered about with a mandatory safety device?
Re: useless in devon
That MOT inspector probably decided he didnt want his nose broken when the cutomer returned for being so bloody stupid!
Have it activate and call 999 on behalf of the driver
...but you can tell them that you're okay. If they don't believe you then they can come and take a look anyway. They also can talk to the bystander who is trying to decide whether to pull you from the car - that's a "make injuries worse" vs. "it catches fire and you die" question.
Old-person-at-home alarms have already worked this out. I think some of them have an accelerometer.
And in the meantime they can tell traffic approaching the accident to slow down or divert.
We're talking about a device with phone function and accelerometer, those are dead cheap now.
"Government figures state the real cost of a fatal road accident to Society is in excess of £1 million" but that may be the 1998 price.
Re: Have it activate and call 999 on behalf of the driver
Mmmm. I think you're talking about a whole lot more integration into existing systems than they mean. Yes, it could activate signs in the area warning of the danger. Problem is, they'd probably continue showing the same message for the next 3 weeks till someone decides to turn them off. I've yet to really find these signs (such as on motorways etc.) of any use whatsoever as the messages are normally way out of date, often by days, let alone hours or minutes.
Fuck this shit
I demand the right to crash myself to death if I so wish/I am stupid enough. Let people get hurt and, yes, die. That deters crashes. I don't want your god-damn cotton wool.
Re: Fuck this shit
An interesting conversation I had with a motorbike rider once.
He said that everyone learning or having passed their test in the last couple of years should be forced to ride huge, powerful motorbikes. That way, the safe riders survive and can then use something sensible or of their choice. The idiots and careless drivers will remove themselves from the gene pool rapidly by crashing and dying. Long term, this leads to a better standard of motorbike rider and fewer deaths!!
Re: Fuck this shit
Dodgy numbers, surely?
The lives saved figure of 2,500 is surely an annual one? Since the €12.5b cost is estimated over 10 years, that would be 25,000 lives, therefore €500k per life, not €5m.
Missing something obvious here
Two pages of comments and nobody has said: just keep your existing car.
They've said this tech will be introduced via new cars only . By maintaining your current car there's no need to ever get this kit imposed on you, unless you want it of course.
Doesn't mean I'll support the idea - it's still a stupid one with all the issues mentioned above - but it's rare for any kind of legislation to be made retrospective.
Buy something pre-1960 and, from October, it won't even need an MOT and is already exempt from road tax (pre '71). Once a car is old enough to qualify as a classic it also becomes cheaper to insure. It's a win for everyone except the Eurocrats.
Re: Missing something obvious here
This is OK for a while at least. But, everything wears out in the end...........
As a previous poster points out, phone coverage is by no means universal. And it's on those exact rural out of the way roads that you may have an accident with no-one around to witness it and call the emergency services manually. The same roads where response time for emeregency services is significantly longer than urban areas.
And what happens when 2G and 3g phone networks become obsolete? Do you have to take your car back to a dealer to get a 4G or 5G or 6G retrofit unit installed? Who pays for that? What if the manufacturer can no longer be bothered to provide a compatible unit for your old car?
The more of this sh!t that our elected representative propose, and the more worthless unreliable technology that car manufacturers install, the more I am inclined to keep my 17 year old "second" car on the road, and start to use it as my main car again.
Spike in the middle of the steering wheel would improve road safety more.
No Thanks !
I don't want snitch in the car dialing the Old Bill when I've just put my motor into a hedge after ten pints of lager !
Dodgy numbers confirmed.
Confirming the assumption in my earlier post - yes, the 2,500 number is an annual estimate:
Even allowing for gradual take-up over the 10 years discussed in the article, averaging say 1,250 lives per year, that's €1m per life, not €5m, with costs presumably falling in later years. And of course you can also look at it from the individual POV, as £100 mandatory accident insurance.
That page estimates annual nett savings too:
"Considering the total impact of eCall estimated by the SEiSS study, the annual accident cost savings in Europe are estimated to be up to €22 billion and the annual congestion cost savings around €4 billion - bringing the total annual benefits up to €26 billion. Since the annual total costs of eCall are only estimated to €4.5 billion, the cost-benefit ratio for eCall is significant."
Re: Dodgy numbers confirmed.
Interesting reports these. I too can create number out of the ether without any reference to sources or logic or reasoning (as these reports do). Whether they are correct is another matter though. Given governments (and EU) history, accuracy isn't one of their strong points. Plucking random numbers out of the air and quoting them as fact, is though. Smart metering is a good case in point. All pilots have shown that it has almost no effect on consumption. Doesn't stop the government claiming 18% though!!
Re: Dodgy numbers confirmed.
I don't know if the reports are reliable. I do know their claims are not properly reported in the article.
Re: Dodgy numbers confirmed.
The problem with your/their numbers is, if this really saves money for the EU, then the EU should be keen pay for it. If it really makes economic sense to do it, there's no need to legislate, just pay the manufacturers to add the device and the job's done. Manufacturer's aren't going to complain about a new feature on their vehicles at no cost to them now are they, and if it costs them nothing, they have no cost to pass to the buyer. Everybody wins! Unless (and since they aren't offering to pay this is my suspicion) there's no saving at all that can be reliably calculated.
:-) They'd be better dialling the European standard 112. However I'd quite like to see the device go a step further and report the last few minutes of driver behaviour. If you're found in a Ditch in a 50 zone and the car has already reported you were travelling at 90mph then perhaps your insurance can immediately revert to third party only leaving you to pick up the bill for the retrieval and repairs.
Yep, I know that's a spy in the cab, but let's face it lorry drivers have had that for years and it has modified their behaviour so why not ours too?
quote: "Yep, I know that's a spy in the cab, but let's face it lorry drivers have had that for years and it has modified their behaviour so why not ours too?"
The problem with that type of justification is that it entirely depends upon the personal line people have drawn between acceptable and unacceptable monitoring. You are fine with there being monitoring in the vehicle, to reduce road crimes. I'm going to assume you would not be fine with 24h personal monitoring to report on any undesirable behaviour? The problem is that the justification for that kind of invasive monitoring is identical; if everyone is being monitored 24/7, then we can practically eliminate all crime (including driving offenses). You can also apply some FUD to that, stating that only paedos and terrorists (speeders and drink drivers) would dare to refuse such a well-meaning and beneficial policy. Law abiding citizens have nothing to fear :)
Of course in my personal experience, there is no such thing as a law abiding citizen on the UK roads. Every day, 80% or more of the vehicles I come into contact with (metaphorically, of course, I don't ram everything I see) are speeding. Average speeds on a motorway are 80+, and the 30 limit road to work has an average speed of 35+ (yes, it does indeed pass a school, and yes, nobody slows down for it unless they are turning in, or behind someone turning in). I've been driving more than 20 years, and in that time I have formed the opinion that anyone who tells me that they categorically do not speed, and they are a safe driver, is lying, whether they know it or not.
Evidence for this? Next time you see a marked police vehicle on the road do not adjust your driving in any way. Ask your significant other (or other regular passenger) if they have ever noticed you adjust your driving when confronted by a marked police vehicle. I guarantee you will instead automatically slow down and actually use your indicators properly, and that your SO will confirm this fact. The fact that every vehicle slows down when they spot a police vehicle shows that every driver (at least subconsciously) acknowledges they are probably going too fast.
Personally, I would recommend regular retesting (and make the test harder) over an automated accident call solution. The best way of minimising road deaths is to not have the accident in the first place, and this can be achieved by dramatically increasing the skill level required to be allowed to drive on the road. As an added bonus, fewer qualified drivers means less pollution, less fuel use, and more people using public transport, all of which the government keep telling us they want to happen anyway!
Also note: if you find yourself vehemently against the idea of increasing the difficulty of the driving test, and/or against taking it regularly, I would suggest that you are likely worried that you probably wouldn't pass it for some reason. What does that say about the level of your driving skill? Are you really a "safe" driver if you don't think you could pass an advanced driving test? ;)
Actually, good point about professional drivers (disclaimer: as an ex-EMT I hold full heavy and passenger vehicle licences, and do occasionally drive buses for a hobby). I have also worked in industries where all land vehicles are fitted with monitor boxes and it really does change your driving and reduces the seriousness of accidents (not so much the accident rate itself, though).
Let's face it, how many people remember they still live in a society once they get in the car? I am very tolerant, and I really like driving myself, but I have attended accidents such as the one that turned me into a vegetarian for a few weeks (ever seen, and smelled, a roasted human? how about a child embedded in a fence?)--these sort of experiences make you think twice about where your personal freedoms stop and others' start.
Btw, one of my residences is reasonably close to an F1 race track. When not used for competitions or training, it can be hired by anyone with a car or motorcycle for about €60 per half-hour, and there is also a reasonably priced racing school, all of which is great fun for everyone involved, rather unlike those sad cunts speeding on public roads--a number of which I suspect then proceed to complain about Big Brother and Nanny States (which I'm all against, but hopefully for less selfish reasons).
What you were missing there was some fava beans and a nice chianti.
...and it measures the force of an impact... so no, it wouldn't call the emergency services for small prangs as some people who clearly haven't read the story have commented.
Also, what is this figure of millions being banged around for? Surely if it just means making the buyer pay an extra $100 dollars on the price of a new car... erm...really not a big deal is it?
I think it's a great idea. But by all means, if you'd rather bleed out at the wheel and wait for someone to find you/bother to call the emergency services rather than simply getting the camera phone out and uploading it to LL then by all means, go without! :)
Re: Good idea...
What everyone has to understand, is that as this is about politicians and other similar political animals, the stated reason is not normally connected with the real reason. Again, I'll cite smart metering as an example. For energy reduction, studies (by anyone independant) have shown they do nothing. So, why keep on with the project. I'll give you a clue, it's got nothing to do with reducing consumption and everything to do with cutting people off!!
Same with this. It's got nothing to do with your health, as politicians don't really care about that. (Otherwise they wouldn't send thousands to die in pointless foreign wars!!). It's got to do with scope creep and what else they can get it to do..........
Re: Good idea...
"But by all means, if you'd rather bleed out at the wheel and wait for someone to find you/bother to call the emergency services rather than simply getting the camera phone out and uploading it to LL then by all means, go without! :)"
yeah... about that... thats exactly what people are doing at the moment! they're weighing up the costs vs benefits, and saying 'nah, not for me, thanks' - hence why 'voluntary uptake has been derisory'. making it mandatory removes the option of 'going without'.
Maybe for you townies, but I often go down roads where bystanders don't exist and it may be another hour before a car passes by, and then you hope they actually see you.
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