Pedestrians accounted for a third of all those killed in traffic accidents, according to a study by the Or Yarok road safety organization made public Sunday. The multi-year study showed over the past decade, some 900 pedestrians were killed in road incidents, while 6,000 were badly injured. Altogether, about 30,000 Israeli pedestrians were injured in incidents during the period.
During 2012, 2,966 Israelis were injured in traffic incidents, 519 of them seriously – while 70 were killed. Those figures were similar to the ones for 2011, when 76 Israelis were killed in traffic incidents, and 380 badly injured. However, with 2012 going down as one of the “best” years ever for traffic accidents in Israel – 290 people were killed through the end of October, the first time in 50 years that fewer than 300 were killed in such incidents during a similar ten month period – Or Yarok officials said that 2012 numbers were “shocking.”
In general, said Or Yarok, eaths from road accidents have been falling for a decade. According to the Transport Ministry, there were 20% fewer deaths from road accidents on average annually between 2008-2012 compared to the 2004-2008 period.
Tel Aviv was the most dangerous city for pedestrians in 2012, with 425 injured and 9 killed. Jerusalem, with 323 injured and 6 killed, was next, and was followed by Haifa, which saw 172 injured and 5 killed.
Or Yarok chairman Shmuel Aboav said that “the high incidence of injury and death among pedestrians is a signal for the state to place this issue at the top of its agenda, in order to continue the downward trend in road accident fatalities. The state should build more speed bumps on local roads to slow traffic down, as well as invest in traffic circles, which have been proven to slow drivers down, which will lead to the sparing of many lives. In addition, police must redouble their efforts to increase enforcement of the laws, especially those requiring drivers to give priority to pedestrians,” Aboav added.