A dramatic drop in the public's faith in the police's ability to deal with traffic accidents has occurred over the past three years, a report released Sunday by the Or Yarok (Green Light) traffic safety institute said. Only 27% of respondents said they believed police were reducing accidents to a great, or very great degree. The rest of those questioned said the police's contribution was average (45%) or less than average (26%), according to the survey. The figures "constitute a continuation of the downwards trend in the police's image over the past three years," Or Yarok said in a statement. In 2004, some 52% of those asked said police activity had significantly reduced traffic accidents, "but since then a steady deterioration has taken place, up to the point where public esteem has fallen by nearly half," Or Yarok added. "We have taken upon ourselves the public task of reporting on the state of road safety in Israel," Shmuel Aboav, CEO of Or Yarok, said. Meanwhile, good news was reported by the institute which found that the drop in the number of fatal accidents continued at the end of 2007. There were 431 people killed in accidents in 2007, compared with 448 in 2006. Or Yarok stressed that a majority of the public was unaware of the change. One of the other interesting results of the survey was the finding that respondents placed road safety problems ahead of terrorist threats in their list of most severe issues facing the country. Some 95% of those asked said accidents were a more pressing problem than any other. General violence captured second place, with 93%, while terrorism came in third, with 89% of people saying it was the most serious problem. Education held fourth place (88%).