Half of the public believes that the main reason for violence on the roads is a policy of lenient punishment in the courts for such offenses, according to a new survey by the Israeli NGO Green Light.
Incidents of violence on the roads have become a routine and daily phenomenon, which has already claimed lives in the past year. Last Friday, police arrested two people suspected of assaulting a family for bullying on a road in Tiberias. One of the two, who was caught in a hiding apartment in Bat Yam, was clearly filmed getting out of his car in the city with an iron bar in his hand towards the family's car - and then hitting the windshield of the car, which shattered to the sound of crying and screaming.
Documentation: A vehicle carrying a family is attacked with an iron bar \\ Police Spokesperson's Office
A new survey by Or Yarok, through the Brain Reservoir research institute, reveals that 48% of the public thinks that the main reason for violence on the road is lenient rather than deterrent punishment by the courts. 31% of respondents claimed that traffic congestion and long traffic jams are the main reason for road violence. 17 per cent believe that the lack of mobility and police officers is the main cause of road violence, and four per cent blame it on poor road infrastructure.
Cut, cling and honking
The survey also revealed that 97% reported seeing vehicles cutting or clinging to other vehicles at least once in the past year, compared to 92% of the public who reported this in a similar survey last year. And 97 per cent reported seeing a vehicle honk deliberately and aggressively at least once in the past year, compared with 92 per cent of the public who reported this in a similar survey last year.
89% reported having encountered a vehicle that blinded other vehicles at least once in the past year, compared to 81% of the public who reported this in a similar survey last year; and 82 per cent reported having encountered verbal abuse at least once in the past year, and 49 per cent reported having encountered a fight on the road at least once.
Road violence in the Negev (archive), photo: Israel Police Spokesperson's Office
Studies around the world have shown a direct link between violent behavior on the road and increased risk of involvement in road accidents. These drivers will be involved in road accidents at twice the rate (!) of drivers who do not feel angry while driving.
An American study estimates that anger and aggression play major roles in more than half of fatal car accidents in America.
Violence leads to accidents
A study by the Dutch Road Safety Research Institute, SWOV, found that there is a link between anger and aggressive and aggressive behavior on the road. This refers to behavior that may cause physical or mental harm to the user, and behavior that includes violence and deviation from the rules of morality.
There are several reasons for aggressive behavior on the road. Many drivers are on the road when they are accompanied by a feeling of anger and nervousness even earlier.
Another reason is the road conditions. Common situations – such as traffic jams, red light delays, and offenses committed by others that cause delays – make the driver feel angry, significantly increasing their chances of being involved in a car accident.
"Take off the gloves"
Adv. Yaniv Yaakov, CEO of Or Yarok: "The past year has been characterized by a sharp increase in cases of violence on the roads, some of which even ended in death. The public is tired of suffering, and is demanding that the state accept responsibility and act to eradicate the phenomenon through harsh punishment and warnings. Almost everyone is exposed to physical or verbal violence on the road, so we need to take off the gloves in the war against violent drivers, by adding more patrol cars and police officers."
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