bryan atinsky 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A fatal car crash last March that killed four members of one family, including two children, may result in the establishment of a Knesset committee on road safety, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
US-born Bryan Atinsky, whose wife Efrat, two children, Noam, 5 and
Ya’ari, 9 months, and mother-in-law Esther Gamliel were killed in a
head-on collision in the Negev three months ago, met with Knesset
members on Wednesday to urge them to create a permanent parliamentary
committee that would examine the causes of Israel’s multiple traffic
accidents and behave as a watchdog for the Ministry of Transport, which
oversees the National Road Safety Authority.
5 dead in 4 separate car accidents
Immediately after meeting with Atinsky, his father Jordy and his
father-in-law Moshe Gamliel, Kadima MK Robert Tiviaev sent an urgent
letter to Knesset house speaker Reuven Rivlin demanding that a committee
on road safety be created.
“This is a subject that cannot be ignored any longer,” Tiviaev told the
Post, adding that he was quite surprised to find that no such committee
existed in Israel’s parliament even though traffic accidents are
responsible for more than 30,000 deaths since the founding of the state.
“There are so many committees in the Knesset that deal with many
subjects but no issue is more important than the war on the roads, which
has already killed more than 200 people this year,” said Tiviaev,
adding that he was brought to tears by Atinsky’s tragic story. “There
are many separate bodies that are tackling this issue but it needs to be
brought together under one roof and the most logical place is in the
He continued: “If [the speaker] does not agree to take up this issue
then I will call for an emergency meeting in the Knesset and demand that
we create this committee. We read about these crashes everyday in the
newspapers, we all know what is happening and no one is totally
righteous on the roads, so we need to make sure that this being dealt
Speaking to the Post
the day, Atinsky said he was encouraged by his meeting with Tiviaev and
hopeful for change.
“If this works then I am happy that I have contributed to making a
change in someway,” said the Milwaukee, Wis. native, who also met with
Transport Minister Israel Katz on Wednesday to seek answer as to why key
recommendations on road safety have not yet been implemented.
“Katz was reluctant to answer my questions at first but he listened to
what I had to say,” said Atinsky. “I told him that there are two main
issues that need to be dealt with immediately – the behavior of drivers
and better enforcement to change that behavior and implementation of the
plan to improve road safety.”
Atinsky was not in Israel with his family when the fatal crash happened
and only returned here from the US a month ago. Since then, he has been
actively campaigning for greater road safety awareness, including an
appearance on Channel 2’s popular Friday Studio with Yair Lapid.
Elad Sasi, spokesman for the non-profit road safety organization Or
Yarok (Green Light), said that the organization would greatly welcome a
Knesset committee on road safety. He
pointed out that two MKs, Hamad Amar (Yisrael Beitenu) and Ronit Tirosh
already fronted a lobby for the War Against Road Accidents but that a
committee would be more powerful in tackling this phenomenon.