Nov 15 bike protest.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
A 30-year-old participant in a motorcyclist protest convoy against a hike in insurance prices was critically injured Sunday morning between the Nachshonim junction and Petah Tikvah. The motorcyclist was hit when the driver of a car detoured onto the shoulder of the highway, hitting the man.
The driver of the car was apparently trying to surpass the slow traffic of the bikers. Protests against the raise in insurance for motorcyclists shut down parts of major highways around Israel Sunday morning.
Hundreds of policemen were deployed throughout Israel's central roads on Sunday morning, as thousands of motorcyclists and moped riders began making their way to Tel Aviv, very slowly, in an initial upgrade of the protest against the Finance Ministry's planned insurance raise, slated to take effect on Sunday.
In an effort to illustrate a possible outcome of the insurance hike, the riders drove slowly and caused major backups on highways. They believe that the high insurance rates will force them to exchange their two-wheelers for cars, causing further congestion on Israel's roads.
Five convoys made their way toward Tel Aviv from central destinations around the country. Police had implored motorists to refrain from traveling on the highways leading to Tel Aviv.
ZAKA volunteers, who deal with disaster victims' identification and are largely mobilized on mopeds and motorcycles, are also participating in Sunday's protest and demobilizing forty percent of their two-wheeled fleet.
Last Thursday, the Finance Ministry announced it had formulated a compensation package for motorcyclists whose insurance was set to be come more expensive. A spokesperson for the motorcyclists denied compensation had been offered or reached and called the announcement "a media exercise."
The Finance Ministry plan would formulate someone's insurance rates based on their experience and number of traffic violations. Many expect the changes to raise motorcyclists' insurance by as much as 25%.
On Sunday, the Finance Ministry issued a press release saying that motorcyclists who choose to pay the greater personal liability insurance will be eligible for cheaper mandatory insurance and larger benefits for pain and suffering caused in a traffic accident. The press release adds that those who buy the pricier personal liability insurance will pay 20% less in premiums.
According to the Finance Ministry, the new policies will have no impact on the premiums paid for medical treatment, rehabilitation, or missed work suffered by motorcyclists injured in traffic accidents.
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