Road authority to issue 100 new patrol cars to reduce traffic fatalities

“Urban Safety Patrol” pilot program launched in 25 local authorities, with goal of halving fatalities in urban areas by 2018.

July 2, 2013 01:42
2 minute read.
Scene of accident near Haifa on April 10, 2013.

car accident fatal370. (photo credit: Courtesy, Magen David Adom )

The National Road Safety Authority launched on Monday an “Urban Safety Patrol” pilot program in about 25 local authorities, with the goal of halving the number of fatalities in urban areas by the year 2018.

Critical to the project’s deployment, the National Road Safety Authority will soon be signing an agreement to deliver 25 new patrol vehicles to traffic police in the participating cities, with the aim of bringing in 100 new patrol vehicles by the end of 2013.

Mayors in 22 cities have already agreed to deploy the new patrol units within their municipalities in the first phase of the new project, which will last for approximately one year. This is the first time in which the National Road Safety Authority has been able to send patrol cars to individual municipalities for the purpose of traffic law enforcement and in hopes of reducing the number of pedestrian casualties, the authority said.

Among the initially participating cities are Haifa, Nazareth, Afula, Kiryat Bialik, Kiryat Yam, Kiryat Motzkin, Nazareth Illit, Karmiel, Netanya, Petah Tikva, Hadera, Ramle, Ra’anana, Rahat, Eilat, Beitar Illit, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Yavne, Kiryat Gat and Ariel.

Municipal traffic inspectors driving the new patrol vehicles have undergone training with the authority, in order to learn how to work within crowded vehicle and pedestrian zones during peak hours – close to schools, community centers and recreational facilities, the National Road Safety Authority said.

During the first half of 2013 – in comparison to the same period last year – the number of fatalities in urban areas increased by 14%, with 67 deaths occurring this year and 59 last year, according to the authority. Most of those killed have been pedestrians.

National Road Safety Authority chairman Dr. Yaakov Sheinin pointed out that the rate of pedestrian fatalities in Israel is twice that of the Western world.

“Our target is to reach a 50% reduction in casualties in five years, similar to the five safest countries in the world,” Sheinin said. “The Safety Patrol is a significant part of the world plan designed to lead to a decline rate of 13% per year from 2014 to 2018.”

Sheinin credited the Israel Police as well as the NGO Or Yarok for their collaboration in the plan to decrease roadside deaths and save lives across the nation. Every mobile patrol unit will be equipped with a GPS tracking device to follow the inspectors’ movements, and the activity will be supervised by regional directors of the authority, he added.

“We stipulated that the delivery of the patrol units to local authorities and to the police must only be used to perform tasks aimed at increasing road safety,” Sheinin said.

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