As police geared up ahead of New Year's Eve with nationwide plans to combat holiday-related drunk driving and disorderly behavior, two people were killed over the weekend in a collision.
On Thursday night, Police Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi instructed all six districts of the Israel Police to present their plans for the upcoming holiday, which has been celebrated here with increasing enthusiasm in recent years. Beginning Thursday night, police upped their presence on the roads, and said they would keep it at a heightened level until New Year's Day.
At a meeting at his Jerusalem headquarters, Karadi instructed the district chiefs to make security at popular entertainment centers and nightclubs a priority. In addition, both the Border Police and Traffic Police plan to increase their highway patrols, as well as their presence in downtown areas.
A main issue in Karadi's directive was combating drunk driving, which police said they see much more of during New Year's festivities than over the rest of the year.
Police also planned to conduct random traffic stops, including Breathalyzer spot checks. Over the weekend, police in Tel Aviv revoked the license of a driver picked up at one such random stop who was found to be driving while intoxicated.
While police planned ways to make the nation's roads safer over the holiday weekend, two people were killed on Saturday afternoon in a head-on collision north of Arad. Another two people were injured - one seriously and the second moderately - in the crash and were evacuated to Beersheba's Soroka Medical Center.
The initial police investigation indicated that the accident occurred when one of the cars swerved from its lane and crashed head-on into the oncoming vehicle.