Daily Israel Report

Israel Winning the War for Traffic Safety

More Israelis have died in traffic accidents than in wars. Israel has taken the upper hand in the war against road deaths.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 11/11/2009, 1:03 PM / Last Update: 11/11/2009, 1:06 PM

Israel news photo

Israel’s Traffic Safety Council, is urging new legislation that would require new drivers to be escorted by an experienced motorist for three months as part of an intensified battle in the war against death on the highways.

Israel’s fatality rate has dropped 20 percent this year compared with 2008, but the country still is among those with the highest number of pedestrian accidents and highest number of young people wounded on the roads. More Israelis have died in traffic accidents than in wars since the re-establishment of the State.

Yonat Martin Rosen, deputy director of the Traffic Safety Council, told Arutz Sheva it wants to change the current law that prohibits new drivers from driving alone for three months and instead require them to drive with an experienced driver before taking the wheel alone.

The Council also wants stiffer fines for drivers who are caught under the influence of alcohol as well as a stricter definition of the term.

Rosen is asking for more government funds for investment in technological innovations that, among other aids, warn drivers when they are not keeping enough distance from other vehicles. “These devices are not mandatory today but I think they will be in the future, just as air bags are now compulsory,” Rosen added.

Other recommendations of the Council include adding hours to driving courses and helping future motorists know how to handle problematic traffic situations.

Ziva Patri, director of the Council, added, “We aim to bring the number of traffic deaths to zero. We plant to teach everyone to say ‘no’ to a friend who drives while being tired or is under the influence of alcohol. Most traffic accidents are caused by human error that cost peoples’ lives.”