Only when someone famous...

Not so long ago, the pavement and the pedestrian mall were relatively safe places. Not any more.

August 14, 2017 20:48
2 minute read.
Only when someone famous...

WHERE WILL he ride it?. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Only when someone famous is hurt or killed in an accident involving a hoverboard, electric scooter, electric or ordinary bicycle or a motorbike does the media give such incidents the attention they deserve.

This week, supermodel Shlomit Malka, who is married to well known actor Yehuda Levi, was riding her electric scooter on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard when she slipped and sustained severe head injuries.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Had she been wearing a helmet, her condition would probably be less serious than it is.

Because she’s a celebrity, progress reports on her condition will continue to appear in the tabloid press. But what of all the other people – both adults and children – who are killed or maimed as a result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, ignoring the law or simply because the law is an ass? They become anonymous statistics important only to their families and friends, but not to the wider public or to law enforcement officials.

Very few pavements in Israel are wide enough to accommodate both pedestrians and people on wheels – be they skateboard riders, bicyclists, motorcyclists, hoverboard or Segway riders, scooter riders or roller skaters. But riders of such vehicles come at pedestrians from in front and behind and it can be both frightening and dangerous for the pedestrian, especially when the rider is busy on his or cellphone, or has his or ears plugged with earphones. Senior citizens do not always have the agility to move out of the way, and toddlers don’t have the sense of danger that would prompt them to move sideways.

Pavements, footpaths, sidewalks, call them what you will, were designed for pedestrians in the days when the most popular mode of transport was a horse and carriage. The only wheels that should be allowed on the pavement are shopping and luggage trolleys, baby carriages and wheelchairs. All other wheels should be on the road – preferably on specially built safety tracks.

Not so long ago, the pavement and the pedestrian mall were relatively safe places.

Not any more. Many cyclists do not have full control of their bikes and weave precariously.

Few wear helmets. Many also have small children – even babies – sitting front and back, without any head protection. Motorcyclists frequently zap through pedestrian malls where casual strolling can wind up a painful experience at best, and a wheelchair at worst.

In addition to all this, the paucity of car parking facilities causes many drivers to risk heavy fines by parking on the pavement, which further reduces room for pedestrians and makes the presence of cyclists even more frightening.

In many countries, the pavement is strictly for pedestrians. Surely it’s time for Israel’s lawmakers to enact legislation to this effect and for Israel’s police to ensure that such legislation is implemented with heavy fines and prison terms for offenders.

Related Content

Israeli flag
August 14, 2018
The Nation-State Law: A challenge to be faced