Jerusalem cyclist 521 .
(photo credit: Sarah Levin)
A day after a champion bicyclist was struck and killed by a car, the chairman of
the Knesset Subcommittee for the War on Traffic Accidents called on Sunday to
outlaw bicycles on interurban “fast” roads.
“Bicycling in Israel has
turned into a game of Russian roulette and a real danger to cyclists on
high-speed roadways,” MK Robert Tibayev (Kadima) said in a letter to
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz.
“I believe that Israel must create
order in its policies, including both ministerial action and legislation,
regarding bicycle and vehicle culture,” continued Tibayev.
He argued that
Israel should “adopt the accepted model in other countries by which bicyclists
will be forbidden from riding on high-speed roadways.”
already illegal on the fastest highways, including Highway 1, Highway 2 and
Highway 6. Stretches of other roads are also restricted due to specific safety
Tibayev called on the state to take responsibility for
improving infrastructures that would allow bicyclists to ride safely. He
promised that he would hold an urgent committee meeting on the subject, and
would submit legislation on the subject when the Knesset returns from its Pessah
On Saturday morning, champion bicyclist Guy Tamari, 42, was
killed when he was hit by a car while riding on Route 40 south of
Tamari was the son of Brig.- Gen. (res.) Shai Tamari, and the
nephew of Maj.-Gen. Nechmia Tamari, the OC Central Command who was killed when
his helicopter crashed in 1994.
The driver who fatally struck Tamari was
returning from a night shift at Ben-Gurion Airport, and said that she did not
see Tamari before she felt the impact.
Police are examining whether
fatigue was a factor in the crash.
It was still unclear a day later
whether the driver swerved onto the shoulder of the road and then struck Tamari,
or whether Tamari was riding in the lane reserved for motor
According to the Or Yarok road safety organization, 2,562
bicyclists were injured in traffic collisions in 2003-2010, and in 2010 alone 16
bicyclists were killed.
Following the incident, Or Yarok published a
study on driving when tired that revealed that one in every 100 Israeli drivers
has fallen asleep at the wheel.
Another 14 percent reported that in the
past year, they had ridden in a vehicle whose driver had “nodded off,” while 15%
said that they had wanted to stop driving and rest, but there was no safe place
to pull over.