Tisha Be'av declared No Road Accidents Day

Organization for Road Safety organizes a consciousness-raising tour around the country.

July 23, 2007 23:39
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Tuesday, Tisha Be'av, has been declared "A Day of No Road Accidents" and Metuna, the Organization for Road Safety, has organized a consciousness-raising tour around the country. The impetus for No Road Accidents Day, the country's first, came from Yaniv Rachimi, a young Tel Aviv businessman. The day's events have the approval of both chief rabbis, Metuna founder Zelda Harris said on Monday. "This is like the Israel that used to be," she said. "Everybody got involved, everybody was like family. I hope Israelis will come together today to say they are strongly in favor of increased road safety." At the Poleg shopping center in Netanya on Monday, Metuna members distributed safety information to drivers and the public. Harris said the response was overwhelmingly positive. The bus trip is intended to bring Rachimi's inspiration, which has been primarily manifested in the Tel Aviv area, to other parts of the country. The bus will leave the Tel Aviv central train station at 10 a.m. and stop in Netanya and Givat Olga to pick up Metuna members. From there it is on to Ir Hacarmel, near Haifa. In Afula, the group will be met by Raz Rutman, the 13-year-old leader of the NGO's youth campaign. He has used a wheelchair since being severely injured in an accident at the age of seven. The tour plans to arrive at the Beit Loewenstein rehabilitation center in Ra'anana around 4 p.m., where youth groups, the media and representatives of other groups who have supported the project will be waiting, including Israel Radio, Channel 2 franchisee Reshet, Sonol Oil and Channel 10. Hundreds of Magen David Adom ambulances and mobile intensive care units will bear a green flag in honor of the day's goal. The 24/7 date was purposely chosen to show that safety is needed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. On Monday morning, one person was killed and four were injured, three seriously, in a road accident near Julis in the Galilee. And in the western Negev, a Rahat woman died of injuries sustained in a car accident near Ruhama. Last year, MDA staffers and volunteers were called to 60,000 road accidents, and they dealt with 139 on Monday. Judy Siegel contributed to this report.

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