To be clear: as far as the state is concerned, your life on the road is not worth much
We went to war for much less than that, but on your road life is not worth much.
Every minister presents a plan and makes statements, but in practice - the State of Israel does not care that much about people killed in traffic accidents
Sunday, August 14, 2022, 07:08 Updated: 08:11
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A horrifying sequence of traffic accidents, the vast majority of them in known risk centers in advance (photo: Arzod photo, MDA)
The State of Israel should be ashamed!
74 years after the establishment of the state, despite good opening conditions, excellent potential and technological capabilities and groundbreaking innovation - in everything related to road safety, shame and disgrace.
And there was really room to think that there was a reason why the state was dragging its feet in regards to road safety, some political, ideological agenda, hidden economic forces - but there isn't, there simply isn't.
The victims of road accidents are not sectoral, not gendered, not politically associated.
Which leads to the simple conclusion - the state, its institutions simply do not care that you, your family members, friends die, it doesn't really matter who.
For her, 340 deaths on average every year for more than a decade, she is required at most to make statements and launch a "revolutionary plan" to combat road accidents.
The chance of seeing a change during the term of office of an incumbent transport minister tends to zero, and with it the motivation to change things.
Far from the destinations?
We will change the destination (photo: screenshot, Kenan Cohen)
And we don't have to go back to the first days of the state, we'll go back about 15 years, during this period, when I cover the field of transportation, grandiose plans came and went.
The overwhelming majority is based on the only and last time a serious plan was made here to deal with traffic accidents - the Sheinin report from 2005. It was a plan in which goals were also set - within a decade Israel will present a level of safety comparable to that of the most advanced countries of its time (England, the Netherlands, Finland, Australia, Norway and Sweden) Intermediate goals were also set, including a decrease to below 360 deaths by 2010 and below 300 deaths by 2015 - spoiler, it didn't happen, we failed so much in this change that even in 2020, with closures , Corona restrictions and without special reasons to walk outside, 305 people were killed here on the roads. That is, the state's failure to meet the goals is not related to a specific problem. Rather, it is related to the fact that every time you go out on the roads is a gamble.
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The scene of the accident where the policeman Barak Mosel was murdered by a 17-year-old car thief from the territories (Photo: Israel Police Spokesperson)
Since the state did not meet the goals it had set itself, a patent was found, in 2013 under Minister Israel Katz two things happened, the first is the change of the name of the ministry to the "Ministry of Transportation and Road Safety" and the second is the launch of a new program in which new goals are set - by 2020 Israel will be one From the top 5 in road safety.
Midway stop: 2017, when we were still in 17th place.
In June 2021, the European Road Safety Council published a report measuring the success of countries in reducing deaths in road accidents over a decade - Israel was ranked 30th out of 32 countries.
A report by the European Road Safety Council from July 2022 again places Norway in first place with A 52% reduction in the number of fatalities, at this time the reduction in Israel was 5%.
In these numbers, 14.8 deaths per million inhabitants in Norway compared to 38.5 deaths in Israel - a huge difference.
Investigating traffic accidents not only in the case of casualties, and not only with the aim of filing an indictment (Photo: MDA, Haim Levin)
So what was the big difference between the other countries and Israel?
Where was the point where Norway, Portugal and Greece opened such a significant gap and managed to reduce by 50% or more the number of people killed in road accidents.
The simple answer is - comprehensive road safety work plans.
But wait, there were some here too, weren't there?
True, but in the countries that recorded the most significant decrease, they were also implemented, implemented following budgeting and perception of the state's commitment to the safety of the citizen.
They were implemented because in these countries they began to investigate traffic accidents even when there were no victims involved, with the understanding that out of 1,000 self-inflicted accidents there will be 100 accidents that could have ended differently, and out of these 100 there were those that would have ended in a hit, and out of 100 hits there were 10 that ended in an injury A body and content that would have ended in the death of a child, but if they are not investigated, at least some of them, at least something - there is no chance of creating tools that will prevent the next accident.
In Israel, the traffic accidents that are investigated are those in which there are casualties, an investigation that is carried out by the police and also where the prism through which they look at the story is "Is anyone guilty? Can charges be filed?"
And not "how could we have prevented this accident".
Proper appointments are important, serious budgeting will really do the job (Photo: Government Press Office, Natan Weil, PM)
The countries that decided that the fight against road accidents is a national task worked according to regular plans.
Programs were also presented in Israel.
This is what has happened with them in recent years: they were presented to the Minister of Transportation Bezalel Smotrich in 2019 by Haralbad, they were presented again in November 2020 in the form of the main points of the draft plan, again on November 8 by the then Minister of Transportation Miri Regev with the presentation of the executive team to the sea between my offices.
But shortly after that the government disbanded, with no government, no budget, with no budget the plan is not worth the paper it is printed on.
The establishment of the 36th government did not bring any change either, again the plan was laid out, again without a budget estimate and certainly without the definition of budget sources.
Only at the beginning of the "Red August" of road accidents, a five-year plan for road safety was launched (again) under the Minister of Transportation Merav Michaeli, this time, after years of appointing functional people who have nothing to do with road safety, at the head of the Haralbad are also two people with a track record - Avi Naor, Establishes the association "Or Yerok" as chairman and Dr. Erez Kita the CEO of the association in recent years.
Again, goals are presented of a 50% reduction in the number of general victims, the reduction of the economic damage that currently stands at 15.76 billion shekels to less than 10 billion shekels, Israel's position in the top 5 countries in the world in reducing road accidents.
The plan details the risk points, the nature of the confrontation, a long list of partners on the way, touching on the core issues of improving safety - what's not there?
Among the government ministries partnering with the program, the one responsible for allocating the budget - the Ministry of Finance - is absent.
So the National Road Safety Authority can boast of proper appointments and presentation of plans, but after years of dwindling budgets and powers, it has become nothing more than an advertising arm whose main product is campaigns and advocacy, less change on the ground.
Adding lower protection to safety fences, the safety gap is known, but its budgeting requires wars every time (Photo: MDA)
In Israel, the traffic accidents that are investigated are those in which there are casualties, the investigations that are carried out by the police and also the prism through which they look at the story is "Is anyone guilty? Can charges be filed?"
And not "how could we have prevented this accident".
In between there are also those who try.
MK Boaz Toporovski (Yesh Atid), chairman of the road safety subcommittee, has been knocking on every door for years in an attempt to stimulate the policy in this direction.
The responsiveness is shameful.
He calls for an acute need to change the policy, to formulate a multi-year plan.
He fights for every gathering of the committee he chairs and demands answers from those in charge.
But when one person leads the fight, you realize that the problem is in the whole system.
Because even achievements such as safety rails for motorcycles, safety bays for heavy vehicles, adding safety officers and more are small steps compared to the huge gap, the one that stems not from evil, but much worse - from complete indifference.
"As a "member" of the bereaved family, I will continue to see the war on carnage on the roads as the public mission," he tells us, "and I will continue to do everything to raise awareness and harness the elected officials and citizens of Israel, all with the goal of saving human lives."
This cannot be a war of one Knesset member, it is a national mission (photo: official website, -)
And the writing is on the wall, the centers of risk are clear and they are very far from those where the state is focusing its "efforts" in recent years.
Take the A3 speed camera project, which was born in a lie, continued in sin and ended up with the grave burial it deserved.
Tens of millions were invested in a project whose extent of contribution to the decrease in traffic accidents has never been measured.
Failure to examine his credibility in the courts which only revealed the depth of the rot in the training of the creep while cheating and covering up.
The construction and placement of the cameras were done in 2011-2012, they did not reduce the number of dead.
Although the year 2012 was one of the years with the fewest deaths on the roads (290), however, it seems that this was a momentary exception, since since then the numbers have started to rise.
On the other hand, in places where we know who the victims are, when they are injured, by whom and why - as in the case of the pedestrians, only minor activity was recorded.
In places where speed is a critical factor - within the cities - enforcement activity in this area is marginal if at all.
A reform in the training of heavy vehicle drivers has been implemented but suffers from poor implementation.
Bus drivers work far beyond what is appropriate to ensure an adequate level of safety due to a shortage of drivers.
Unlicensed drivers like 24-year-old Ali Alatresh from the Bedouin diaspora who killed Anat Tal-Katelab and Nitzan Moshe in an accident on Route 6 are not dealt with harshly and discouragingly by the courts.
Car thieves who are responsible for the murder of the late police officer Barak Meshulam and in another case of the late Gabriel Barda whose audacity is increasing in light of lenient rulings by the courts.
Or even in everyday road bullying of cutting lanes, driving in the left lane, not using a signal, overtaking on a continuous separation line, "stealing" traffic lights and more that are not handled by the police - all these add up to the reality of your life,
The speed cameras, no change since they were installed, who will judge? (Photo: Kobi Liani)
We are at the threshold of an election campaign.
They will try to sell you threats from Iran, Gaza and the West Bank, intimidation of the justice system, stories of conspiracies - these are not complete nonsense, but close to there, what you should ask the politician who will ask for your vote is about the chance of your child being hit by a car that was driven By an unlicensed person, at excessive speed in the city, by a truck whose driver has been behind the wheel for 10 or 12 hours, by a bus driver who fails to arrive in time to evacuate at a non-existent refreshment station.
For too many years now, the issue of road safety has been a side note in the business of this country, until we make it a central and present discourse in the public, the politicians will be comfortable and it is better to continue to let this story unfold crookedly and let us pay the price.
Department of Transportation