Accident (file)
Accident (file)Police Spokesman's Unit

December 1st marks a “day of remembrance” for the victims of traffic accidents in Israel – who, at a total of 32,750, far outnumber the Israeli soldiers and civilians killed in Israeli wars and terror attacks since the establishment of the state.

A ceremony will be held in the Knesset as well as in major cities, with the central ceremony to be led by Shmuel Abohav, head of the Or Yarok road safety organization.

That ceremony will be held, appropriately enough, at what has until now been one of Israel's more dangerous intersections, the Dror Junction on Highway 4.

Hundreds of students from schools around the country will attend the event, and a special marathon will be held to increase consciousness among Israelis of the need for both drivers and pedestrians to be more careful on the roads and streets.

In addition, thousands of volunteers will blanket the country with posters, pamphlets, and other paraphernalia bringing home the message of safety while driving, walking, and running. Volunteers will also ask passerby to sign a “safety contract,” in which they promise to be more aware of road safety issues.

Schools, too, will participate, with many holding memorial ceremonies for traffic victims in general, as well as individuals in their own communities who lost their lives in a road accident. Students in classes from first grade through high school will receive materials discussing the event and encouraging them to be more aware of road safety issues as well.

Abohav said that the event was taking place “in the shadow of a tragic increase in the number of victims lost to road accidents. Drivers need to be more careful, of course, but the government is responsible as well as long as it does not upgrade roads and institute basic safety features on the many roads that they are not available. We must stop cutting budgets for road safety. This is a national emergency.”