Continuing slaughter – on the roads

From a Ynet report dated yesterday:

Traffic fatalities rise in 2016

The number of fatalities in road accidents in Israel currently stands at 32,959, more than all the fatalities of Israel’s wars and terrorist attacks. Of that total, 5,038 were children.

For the fourth consecutive year, the amount of fatalities has increased. 2016 has thus far seen 328 Israelis die on the roads, 14 more than the same period last year. To put that into perspective, 100 more fatalities were recorded in 2016 than 2012.

2016 marks an increase of 15 percent in the amount of drivers killed and a 20 percent increase in the amount of train passengers killed. However, in contrast, 2016 registered a decrease of 16 percent in the amount of motorcyclists killed and a decrease of 10 percent in the amount of pedestrians killed.

Part of the explanation is provided:

In 2015, the state comptroller issued several reports detailing the failures of the government in dealing with the dangers of the road. The report was critical of the lack of effective speed cameras, Ministry of Transportation policies that paralyzed the National Road Safety Authority, the severe shortage of police officers in the traffic division and the lack of effective police enforcement of regulations for pedestrians.

The comptroller attacked the Ministry of Education for drastically scaling back traffic education in schools, particularly on motorcycles, scooters and electric bicycles.

There has been a new law put in place to try and cut down the number of accidents involving electric bicycles and youngsters. There is no sign of that having any effect in Ra’anana. Kids still ride these electric bikes dangerously; they often overload them, drive too fast on the pavement, swerve in and out of traffic lanes, wear no protection, and rarely have any lights. They might as well be wearing a sign saying “Accident waiting to happen.”

Therefore, so far as I am concerned, passing laws is not good enough. Without enforcement that law is a public relations pretense that action has been taken. Action? Yes. Effective? No. Waste of time? So far, yes.

But the real slaughter involves cars on the roads. As if to underline the statistics, this is from today:

Three killed, toddler seriously injured in car crash

Crash took place overnight Saturday after two vehicles collided on Highway 79 in lower Galilee; paramedics forced to pronounce death of a man and two women after being extricated from vehicles; toddler evacuated to hospital having sustained head injuries; another man and woman hospitalized in serious condition, two youths lightly wounded.

Tragic.

Something needs to be done.

The non functioning speed cameras are a disgrace. The undermanned traffic police situation is also a disgrace. The lack of a modern, efficient traffic court system is, you guessed it, a disgrace. There’s a gaping hole in the concern our lawmakers have for the people of this country.

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Drumming up business

blackvane

Or, today’s contribution to road safety.

On the main road home from work, I spotted a black van ahead of me, being dangerously driven.

In general, none of this is unusual. Vehicles, including black vans, are frequently driven dangerously. Like today’s instance, they are regularly hurled from lane to lane at speed with nary a hint of an indicator, nor a concern as to whether there might be sufficient space for the vehicle in its new target lane. I use the word target intentionally. But this was unusual, for the following two reasons. Continue reading

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Today’s contribution to road safety

This is a true story, sadly.

Setting: Ra’anana, late afternoon, today. A suburban style side road, with cars parked on each side. There is traffic in both directions, but not too heavy. Not much room to move.

Action: I am driving on this road.

Question: What do I see coming towards me, on my side of the road?

Answer: A cyclist.

Question: Does he have a helmet?

Answer: No, but he does have a beard, payot, a kipa, and tzitzit.

Question: Anything else about him?

Answer: Yes.

Question: What?

Answer: You will never believe it. He is cycling one handed.

Question: What is in the other hand?

Answer: A baby. A real live baby. Maybe a year old. He is cycling, one handed, without a helmet, the wrong way down the street, against the traffic, carrying a baby in his other hand. OMG…

When I came home, I had to go for a lie down.

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