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de Brún welcomes adoption of road safety technology which could save 2,500 lives every year

28 April, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today welcomed the adoption of a report in the European Parliament which seeks to address the spiralling crisis of road traffic fatalities in Ireland and across the EU.

Ms de Brún made her comments after supporting a report by British MEP Gary Titley on road safety in the EU with the introduction of 'eCall' - an in-car device which it has been estimated, could save 2,500 lives every year.

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"The 'eCall' device is a straightforward concept which has the potential to save thousands of lives of road users throughout the European Union. This piece of technology would be fitted to all cars and in the event of a road collision would transmit an emergency call to the nearest emergency call centre, providing accurate information in relation to the location of the accident.

"Whilst 'Call' would obviously not prevent accidents and serious crashes, it has been estimated that it would significantly reduce the response time from the emergency services by 50%, and therefore assist in the saving of lives.

"As we approach another Bank Holiday this coming weekend, we must be mindful that the holiday season tends to see an increase in road traffic accidents and fatalities. We barely need reminded of the carnage on our roads and any initiative which aims to reduce such suffering must be welcomed.

"Sinn Féin has long called for an all Ireland and multi agency approach to the carnage on our roads. Concrete initiatives must be forthcoming if we are to address the crisis on our roads, particularly in relation to speeding, initiatives to support young drivers and the standardisation of road safety measures across the island. The 'eCall' device should be a standard piece of equipment in all cars by September 2009 and I look forward to supporting this initiative as it makes its way through the European Parliament." ENDS

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