All new cars will within three years contain tracking devices that alert the emergency services in the event of an accident. Under EU laws passed on Tuesday the technology will be compulsory from 2018 and fitted as standard in every model of car and small van.
And this is seen as a good thing?
Has no-one factored in the waste of police and paramedic time attending to crashes where no-one is injured?
A serious crash will prompt an automatic call to the nearest emergency centre. Even if nobody in the vehicle is able to speak, the device will still relay the exact location, time, direction of travel, the scale of the impact and whether airbags have been deployed.
Fabulous! Now, when Stabby McChav decamps from his stolen vehicle, having wrapped it round a lamppost, the paramedics will show up, thus leaving no coverage for when your granny is having a heart attack.
Drivers will also be able to push a button inside their car to make a call if they have witnessed an accident and are in unfamiliar surroundings.
Or their inquisitive toddler will. Or their drunk friend.
Sheesh! This is a nightmare! And … for what?
Tests have shown that the technology could reduce ambulance, police and fire brigade response times by as much as 60 per cent in cities and half in the countryside, potentially saving around 2,500 lives a year and reducing the severity of injuries suffered by thousands more.
It could. The knock-on effect of having ambulances & police dispatched needlessly might kill five times more, but the EU bureaucrat will get a tick in his ‘completed’ box, so why should he worry?
Günther H. Oettinger, a European Commissioner, said the new law was a “perfect example” of the EU promoting technology that will “save people’s lives.”
See? The idiot’s oblivious!
Robert Goodwill, the transport minister, said in the UK, where emergency response times are faster than some remote parts of Europe, road deaths would be reduced by just one per cent.
And here we see the absurdity of a ‘one size fits all’ blanket policy, don’t we?
But what about privacy concerns over the data collection? Surely those must worry someone?
In a statement, the EC said that while it acknowledged the public concern over privacy, such fears were overblown. The device will be “dormant” unless a serious accident occurs, it said, and no data would be shared without consent.
“We are frequently getting contacted by citizens concerned that by having eCall installed in their vehicles, their location will be continuously tracked, their driving habits monitored and their private life infringed,” the EC said.
“[But] there are absolutely no reasons to be worried about your privacy. “
When someone like this tells you you’ve no need to worry….you’ve every need to worry!