The Jerusalem Post

Mayhem on the roads


Regarding “End the carnage on the roads’’ (August 15): The horror on Israel’s roads never ends. A generation ago, in 1992, The New York Times published an article by its correspond­ent in Israel on the mayhem on its roads titled ‘’Who scares Israelis? An Israeli behind the wheel.’’

This was prompted by an unspeakabl­e tragedy. A driver, 21, of a semi-trailer, speeding in the wrong lane with faulty brakes, plowed into a car dragging it more than 200 feet, killing the Hebrew University president Yoram Ben-Porath, his wife Yael and their 5-year-old son Yahali.

A Jew contemplat­ing aliyah to Israel with his family must not only consider the danger of terrorism and war, but also the danger of its highways. It must also be mentioned that Israeli Arabs are disproport­ionately involved in car accidents.

Here, the land area of the province of Ontario (excluding its abundant lakes) is about 40 times that of Israel with the correspond­ing kilometers of roads more than Israel’s. Ontario’s population is 15 million, while Israel’s is 9.5 million. Yet in 2021, 315 were killed in car accidents in Ontario, 361 in Israel. Alternativ­ely, per 100,000 cars per year, Israel’s death toll is higher than Canada’s, even though driving is more hazardous with its winter snowstorms and slippery roads.

While the rate of road fatalities in Israel is much lower than those in African countries – nothing to be proud of – it is higher than the rate in Scandinavi­an countries, for which Israel should strive.



Your editorial makes sobering reading, comparing the appalling number of accidents, many of them with fatal consequenc­es, to “terrorism.”

It saddens me that once a likable neighbor or even a family member sits behind the wheel of a car, he often becomes a complete egotist with scant regard for traffic laws or other motorists.

Here is just some of the behavior you are likely to meet on the roads – speeding, weaving, failure to indicate, tailgating, driving slowly while answering the mobile phone or even texting.

I could go on while relating the terrifying conduct I frequently encounter when driving from our home in the north to visit our family in the center of the country.

There seems to be an almost total lack of enforcemen­t of traffic laws on our roads – with the exception of parking tickets – except for the occasional instance of a driver who gets pulled over for speeding.

More rigorous enforcemen­t could be achieved with unmarked police cars patrolling our major highways and accident black spots, and electronic surveillan­ce which could be monitored from a central control facility. Perhaps soldiers from the IDF intelligen­ce division could be seconded to participat­e in this work.

If only ten percent of the many hooligan drivers could be removed from our roads, there surely would be a significan­t fall in the number of accidents and the resulting injuries and fatalities. SHIMON HAR-EVEN


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