TrafficIsrael news photo: Flash 90

The Ohr Yarok (Green Light) Traffic Safety organization reports that 86% of the toddlers killed in traffic accidents near home in 2009 were not Jewish.

73 non-Jewish children – Arabs, Druze and Bedouin – were killed in traffic accidents near home between 2003 and 2009, more than 7 times as many as the amount of Jewish children. This, despite the fact that there are three times as many Jewish children as there are Arab children in Israel.

This means that an Arab toddler is about 22 times more likely to be killed by cars backing up near home and the like than are Jewish children.

Just yesterday, in the Arab town of Tamra in the Galilee, two-year-old Wafika Ahmed Amar was run over and killed when her mother backed up her pick-up truck near the yard. 

Shmuel Abuhab, Director of Ohr Yarok, blames various factors – though he does not include the human element and carelessness among them. 

He says that in many Arab areas, there are no clear borders between play areas and parking areas, that the vehicles involved – mostly trucks of various sizes – lack clear ranges of vision, and that infrastructures must be improved.

“This problem is a grave one,” Abuhab says, “yet nothing is being done.  It must be dealt with in a multi-faceted manner, including improving infrastructures, working with the municipalities, and formulating a master plan in general.”