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Are electronic handbrakes safe?

I am giving some car advice to a friend who is looking at the possibility of a small SUV/crossover. The trouble is the ones that are popular appear to limited to the use of an automated handbrake. I like the use of modern technology, but an automated handbrake sounds dangerous. What are you opinions on them?

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I have been running a Honda HR-V with one of these brake for 13,000 miles. It sensibly has a dual function electromechanical parking brake. On is on and cannot be released other than by the switch while simultaneously pressing the brake pedal. But it also has a green brake hold switch, that automatically locks the brakes on whenever you brake to a stop and automatically releases them when you set off again. You have to pre-set that for each journey, but it seems to me to be the most effective solution to not having a proper lever operated handbrake.
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