Police issue winter driving advice

Police on Sunday urged motorists to take extra care after rain fell in many parts of the country. The warnings followed two crashes on Saturday in which two people were killed and another fatality on Sunday - bringing to 393 the number of people who have died on the roads this year. The crash on Sunday occurred at the Shapirim junction near Beit Dagan in which a driver was killed when his car went out of control and crashed into a safety barrier. A motorcyclist was killed in a similar incident near Rishon Lezion on Saturday. Also on Saturday a man was killed when the car in which he was a passenger was in collision with a truck at the entrance to Kibbutz Amiad in Upper Galilee. The car driver was seriously injured. The crashes on Saturday occurred in good weather conditions. The Israel Meteorological Service is forecasting local showers in northern and some central districts through Monday and Tuesday, spreading as far south as the northern Negev on Wednesday. Wednesday's rain, which could be accompanied be isolated thunderstorms, is slated to continue through Thursday. "Drivers need to realize that when it rains, conditions change and that the friction of the tires is considerably less and the risk of skidding significantly greater," Dep.-Cmdr. Meir Or, head of the Traffic Department's Accidents Investigations Unit, told The Jerusalem Post. "This is especially the case when there is rain after a long period of dryness when the roads were covered in dust, oil and sand. "It is imperative that motorists prepare vehicles for the winter by checking light, indicators, windshield wipers and washers and especially brakes and tires, while ensuring the latter are in order and filled to the pressure recommended by the manufacturers. "It is also important to note that when it rains, visibility is greatly reduced in those areas, such as side windows, where there no wipers and blind spots already exist. This reduced visibility becomes even more pronounced at night. "The general rule is to drive according to the road and weather conditions and not in accordance to the speed limit because the slower you go the more chance there is of spotting potential dangers and avoiding them without endangering yourself or your passengers," said Or. He noted that in several crashes in the past few months, lives could have been saved if drivers and particularly passengers had been wearing seat belts as required by law. "Wearing seat belts should be regarded not as an inconvenience but something that is done automatically whether on long or short trips because it has been proved worldwide that the wearing of belts in cases of accidents can help save lives and prevent serious injury," said Or.