Road deaths up this year

November 30, 2010 03:21

Figures show reverse from downward trends in recent years and last years’ 22 percent reduction.

1 minute read.

car accident [illustrative]

Car Accident 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

With the death on Monday of a 48-year-old man in a head-on collision between a heavy truck and a private vehicle on Route 65 near Nazareth, road deaths for 2010 passed those of 2009, reaching 350 fatalities with a month left in the year.

This reverses downward trends in recent years and last years’ 22 percent reduction.

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Road safety advocacy group Or Yarok blames the government for cutting budgets and failing to set targets.

“We have already long since passed the target threshold of road accident fatalities that the government set in its national plan to combat traffic accidents [a 6% reduction from last year].

Unfortunately, the apathetic attitude of the transportation minister [Yisrael Katz], which is expressed in ongoing cuts in the budget to combat road accidents, sets back the trend of reducing traffic deaths over the last decade, Or Yarok director-general Shmuel Aboav said.

Aboav pointed to the European Union and its ambitious target to reduce accident deaths by 50% over a decade as a model for Israel to follow. He said that setting targets directly correlated to reducing deaths and noted that in Israel, in 2005, the Sheinin Committee set a clear target of reducing the death rate by 30% by 2010, to below 360 deaths a year, and below 300 by 2015.

“Despite these clear declarations, the transportation minister’s position remains the same – that we shouldn’t set targets for reducing casualties,” Aboav said.

“Failure to implement a long-term plan to reduce the number of traffic accident casualties is already taking a large toll, which will only rise. Israel can and must get in line with the advanced European countries and place the battle against traffic accidents at the top of its priorities.”

The transportation ministry declined to comment on Aboav’s statements.

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