Pedestrians cross at a crosswalk.
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Immigrants and tourists to Israel often complain about the reckless behavior of local drivers, but a new police initiative seeks to make improvements on the roads.
The Israel Police announced on Tuesday that it is cracking down on dangerous habits with a campaign aimed specifically at protecting pedestrians.
Under the title “Operation Right to Life,” the police is collaborating with the National Road Safety Authority to increase enforcement to decrease life-threatening traffic offenses.
Police are particularly focusing on drivers who break the law by not giving way to pedestrians at crossings, as well as on those who use cellular phones while driving.
The initiative began in March, focusing on cities in the central district of Rishon Lezion, Rehovot, Netanya, Kfar Saba and Petah Tikva.
Since then, police said it has recorded approximately 1,600 traffic reports for drivers who did not give way to pedestrians, 1,900 traffic reports for the use of cellular phones while driving, and about 1,700 traffic reports for driving offenses made at junctions.
As part of the operation, officials are distributing information to both drivers and pedestrians and explaining to them the law regarding safe crossing. This includes alerting pedestrians who cross the road where there is no pedestrian crossing.
The operation also includes efforts to improve infrastructure in the cities.
These activities are set to continue in the coming months.