(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
“What would you tell a mother whose son got killed only because one of the soldiers was speeding? How can we look in the eye a father whose son was killed only because someone said ‘trust me’ or ‘it’ll be OK’ and nothing will ever again be OK? Don’t say: We couldn’t have prevented it.. don’t say: It was fate. A whole lot, maybe everything, depends on you...” –– Yitzhak Rabin, from a speech to Staff and Command course graduates, 1992
IDF soldiers and commanders, as Road Safety Awareness Week approaches, the coming days will be devoted to looking at the difficult reality and blood on Israeli roads. Sixty-two years of independence were bought with the blood of our bravest sons and daughters, but the heavy sacrifice of Israel’s wars and routine security operations put together cannot compare to the destruction wrought on us by the war raging on the country’s roads, where our finest have lost their lives.
In this war the enemies are haste, bad judgment and light-headedness, and after six decades we have still not won this battle.RELATED:Knesset marks National Road Safety Awareness Day
Road Safety week is another important step in the series of activities the IDF has undertaken to increase road safety among ground troops. We want to stress the importance of this to our soldiers in their daily lives. There have been good results, but I am convinced not enough has been done.
The 12 IDF families who over the past year have received the bitter news that their child has died in a car accident are evidence of the fact that we have not done all we can to convey to our soldiers the risks of getting behind the wheel.
We, who stand guard over this country, must not come to terms with the
high number of soldiers who have lost their lives on our roads.
Commanders are obligated to continue to act, with discussions,
enforcement and penalties, to put road safety to the public agenda.
must instill this in every soldier and make the soldiers behind the
wheel take responsibility for their behavior on the roads, and, if need
be, to change their behavior.
Soldiers and commanders, the race
to prevent the next accident begins now, in the activities of Road
Safety Week, and on every drill, mission and leave.The writer is IDF chief of General Staff.