Road accident
Road accident Israel Police

Fewer people died in cars that were involved in accidents in 2014 compared to the previous year, but more pedestrians died as a result of being hit by a vehicle, a roundup of last year's road safety statistics showed. The roundup was released Sunday by Dr. Yaakov Sheinin, head of the National Road Safety Administration.

A total of 318 people died in road incidents in 2014, up by 18 from the 303 killed in 2013. Out of that number, 193 were drivers or passengers of vehicles – a 15-year low in the number of such fatalities. In 2007, by comparison, 294 drivers and passengers were killed in such accidents, and Sheinin called the improvement “very welcome.”

However, the surprising – and distressing – statistic from last year involved the number of pedestrians killed in road accidents. A total of 125 pedestrians were killed in such incidents, almost a third more than the 94 killed in 2013. Sheinin said that his office will conduct a study as to why this was the case.

Despite that setback, Israel's roads appear to be getting safer, the statistics showed. There was a reduction of 23% in the number of people killed in motorcycle accidents, a 21% drop in the number of bicycle riders killed on the road, and a 15% fall in the number of under-21 drivers killed in accidents. Only 2% of those killed were found to have alcohol levels beyond the legal limit.

Sheinin said that by 2020, he hopes to reduce the number of those killed to 4 dead per capita, instead of the 6.1 per capita killed this year – with no more than 200 dying annually in such accidents by the end of the decade.