Deadly car accident 311.
(photo credit: ZAKA / Tzvika Level)
A disproportionate number of non-Jewish citizens of Israel are killed in the
country’s traffic accidents, and there are glaring weaknesses in the road
infrastructure in the non-Jewish sector, according to a chapter of the State
Comptroller’s report issued on Tuesday.
The report’s results are based on
studies conducted over 10 years on road safety in the non- Jewish
“These studies have found evidence that among other things, there
is a lower quality of road infrastructure in this sector,” the report
According to the report, non- Jewish Israelis constitute 40
percent of those killed in traffic accidents, though they only represent some
20% of the population.
While the number of Jews killed in traffic
accidents dropped by 26% between 2006-2010, for non-Jews it rose by 18% during
the same period of time, the report said.
The comptroller report states
that there is no single cause of traffic accidents; rather, they are the result
of a combination of factors, including human error, road infrastructure and the
condition of the driver’s automobile.
Road infrastructure was a factor in
25-30% of accidents.
The report said that from October 2010 to January
2011 the comptroller’s office examined the work of road safety authorities in
the non-Jewish sector and found “deficiencies in the municipalities’ treatment
of road safety within their jurisdictions.”
The local authorities
included the Arab villages of Kfar Kassem, east of Tel Aviv, and Kalansuwa,
north of Petah Tikva. The report found that large stretches of roads in the two
villages were unpaved or severely damaged and that the local authorities were
not investing money in righting the matter.
In regard to the driving
infrastructure in the villages, the report paints a picture of streets that
resemble obstacle courses; with insufficient lighting, unpaved or destroyed
asphalt, and dumpsters, electric poles, and parked cars randomly anchored in
crosswalks and traffic lanes.
In addition, in a sort of safety
measure-come-obstacle, the report finds that both villages have a high number of
speed bumps, but they are too narrow and on average three times the average
height elsewhere in Israel. Many of these speed bumps are not lit or painted and
are difficult to see when approaching, even during daytime, the report stated.
The non-regulation speed bumps exist partially because they were laid by private
citizens acting on their own initiative, in response to local governmental
neglect, according to the report.
In both villages, large numbers of
crosswalks were found to be blocked by stalls run by local merchants as well as
private vehicles, forcing pedestrians to stand before oncoming traffic when
crossing the road.
In addition, many of the streets in both villages are
without proper lighting, or any lighting whatsoever.
In addition, the
village of Kfar Kassem has not developed street safety infrastructure beside the
two schoolhouses in the village, despite Education Ministry
“In the local authorities examined, the [road safety]
committees did not fulfill their responsibilities as was requested.
did not carry out comprehensive examination of the safety issues on the streets
or identify their needs, did not gather statistics on road accidents, or the
characteristics of such accidents and did not devise a long-scale plan for
preventing injuries within their jurisdictions,” the report states.
chapter concludes that road safety is an issue of life and death, and calls on
local authorities to fulfill their obligations to build the infrastructure
necessary to reduce the loss of life of pedestrians and drivers.