Reflective vest mandatory in vehicles from Jan. 1

When a driver must exit his vehicle on an intercity road, he is required to put on the vest.

reflective vest 298 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
reflective vest 298
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Drivers beware: Before leaving home, make sure you haven't forgotten your keys, and now also your new florescent vest. A new law, which goes into effect January 1, requires all car, truck and motorcycle owners to carry a florescent vest in their vehicle at all times. When a driver finds himself in a situation where he must exit his vehicle on an intercity road, whether to change a tire, call for help, or for any other reason, he is required to put on the vest before going outside. The law was proposed in the Knesset by Likud MK Gilad Erdan, Chairman of the Subcommittee for the War on Traffic Accidents. A spokesperson for Erdan said he hoped that the new law would lead to fewer traffic accidents caused by the inability of other drivers to see motorists who have stepped out of their vehicles. Transportation Ministry spokesman Avner Ovadia said that with traffic accidents rampant throughout the country, many are looking for ways to reduce their number, and he hopes this initiative will help. Elihu Richter, head of the Unit of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, a division of the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Public Health and Community Medicine, and a frequent critic of the Transportation Ministry, said that he agreed with the new law, but that further laws must be made to further insure safety. "It sounds like a good idea to me," Richter said. "But it doesn't go far enough. We also really need reflexive lights on trucks to make it easier to see them," Richter said. The Transportation Ministry this week sent a memo to all state licensing agencies announcing the new law, and instructing their staff that during yearly vehicle inspections, they should check for the presence of such a vest. A vehicle without a florescent vest will not be able to pass inspection. Rental companies have also been told to include a vest in rental cars. The Transportation Ministry is announcing the new law to the public through radio advertisements. Ovadia said that the ministry intended to soon determine the fine for violators of the law, either by not having the vest in his car, or not donning it while outside.