As Or Yarok prepares to celebrate its tenth birthday, the road safety watchdog organization released new data Monday indicating that the average speed on the majority of Israel's roads is up to 20% higher than the posted speed - and recommended the use of revolutionary cellular technology to work to pinpoint problem spots.
Or Yarok called on the government to establish a national information base to study the geographic and chronological distribution of driving speeds on major roadways. To acquire this information, Or Yarok said, a new technology could be used through which analysts would measure speeds through existing cellular broadcasts from passengers traveling on the road.
The technology, which was developed by ITIS Holdings, allows the recording of a cellphone's journey through measuring the transit time between cellular cells - but doing so anonymously, so as to enable data-gathering.
It is on the basis of initial research carried out using this technique that the organization arrived at the figure indicating that the majority of passengers examined were traveling at speeds above the permitted limit.
The organization offered the example of Route 31, considered to have some of the sharpest curves and inclines of any major route in Israel. On that road, which leads through the Zohar drainage area to the Dead Sea, around 30 percent of drivers were found to be driving 120 and above, when the posted speed limit is 80 kp/h.
According to Or Yarok, data gathered following car crashes both in Israel and worldwide indicates that speeding is a contributing factor in a third of all fatal crashes, and that reducing the average road speed by 5% brings about a reduction by 10% in crashes with injuries and of 20% in fatal collisions.
On Wednesday evening and Thursday of this week, the organization will hold a conference to mark its tenth anniversary, with guests including Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz and Public Security Minister Avi Dichter. Cherie Blair, the wife of Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair, and a noted lawyer on her own right, will also lecture on the relations between NGOs and government offices.
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