Ireland criticised by Setanta Insurance for not signing-up for eCall

Ireland’s transport minister Noel Dempsey has been accused of ‘‘playing with people’s lives’’ by failing to sign up an EU-backed crash alert scheme.

Setanta Insurance, which claims to be the fastest-growing vehicle insurance firm in the country, has said that the eCall system should be implemented to help save lives .

Ireland is one of six EU countries that have not signed up to implement eCall, which the European Commission estimates could save 2,500 lives a year. The Department of Transport has said it supports eCall in principle, but it is believed to have concerns about its cost.

Mike Matthews, chief executive of Setanta Insurance: ‘‘Almost every week, I hear about road accidents and deaths where eCall would have helped. The transport minister has a responsibility to act; he is playing with people’s lives. Money cannot be allowed to stand in the way of social responsibility. I recognise a lot has been done in recent years to try and prevent more deaths on our roads, but still too many people are dying.”

While the department has said that eCall is still under development, Matthews said that the technology for eCall was ready, and Europe’s mobile phone operators were supporting the scheme.

Courtesy: The Sunday Business Post.

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