Israel must ask itself why the number of dead and injured in road accidents was not further reduced, Public Affairs Minister Avi Dichter said at the opening of Thursday's Or Yarok 10th Anniversary Conference. "427 people were killed in vehicle collisions on Israel's roads since the beginning of the year, thirty fewer than in 2006. 5,000 fewer people were injured than the year before. Of them, 300 fewer people were injured seriously. "We must ask ourselves why we did not further reduce the number of dead and injured," Dichter insisted. According to statistics cited by the minister, "we have all failed in reducing the number of people killed on intercity roads. More people were killed on intercity roads than last year. 36% of the people killed in collisions were pedestrians - double the number of people killed in [other] Western countries." To combat the intercity crash phenomenon, Dichter promised that "in the coming year the police will enlist 1,000 new police officers - a third of whom will deal specifically with the struggle against car crashes in urban area. The northern district, where a high proportion of crashes occur, will be assigned two hundred police officers, he added. The minister added that in relation to their representation of all drivers in Israel, Arab drivers are involved in twice the number of accidents in Israel.