A surveillance system outside the town of Ofra, meant to alert security staff of incidents of unrest by local Arabs or attempts by terrorists to enter the town in the center of the Binyamin region, is being used to increase awareness of road safety. Using footage gathered by the system, security officials in the town have developed a Youtube video showing how accidents happen – and how easily they can be avoided.
Road accidents anywhere in Israel are tragic, but they take on an added dimension of concern in Judea and Samaria: Accidents disable cars at the side of the road for hours, making drivers and passengers easy targets for terrorists. In addition, accidents between Jewish and Arab vehicles in the region can lead to unrest, reaching the front pages of international newspapers and the top of TV news broadcasts. In that sense, said Ofra security official Yair Shusheim, traffic accidents on the roads near Ofra must be considered “security incidents.”
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Shusheim said that “most of the accidents take place between Palestinians and Jews. Drivers must be careful and avoid doing stupid things,” like texting while driving. Shusheim said that many of the accidents captured by the cameras indicated that drivers were not paying attention to the road, instead involved in texting or using their phones for some other purpose. In addition, some drivers ignored speed and traffic signs, while others apparently drove when they were tired.
Shusheim added that the video shows only the “light” accidents, and that there were plenty of far more serious ones in the town's footage file. He and the town fathers of Ofra hope that the video will convince drivers to be more careful, he added.