Study: Haifa's roads are the most dangerous

Research by Or Yarok road safety organization ranks areas of Israel by average number of accidents.

car crash 298.88 (photo credit: Channel  2)
car crash 298.88
(photo credit: Channel 2)
Haifa's roads are the most dangerous of any of Israel's large cities, while Kiryat Ono is overall the most dangerous place in the country in which to drive, a report released on Monday by Or Yarok, a non-profit organization that promotes traffic safety, revealed. The report, which researched 92 municipalities including Haifa, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv, is part of an ongoing campaign that is calling for a change of approach regarding road safety in Israel. The research findings addressed the various causes of road accidents and primary victims of accidents and was based on the percentage of road accidents in 2004 and 2005. Of Israel's largest cities, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem were the second and third most dangerous, respectively, after Haifa. Smaller cities and municipalities were also cited as posing serious safety problems for drivers. Kiryat Yam, Kiryat Ono and Nesher were deemed particular risks. In communities of 100,000-250,000 residents, Bnei Brak was cited as having the most menacing drivers while Modi'in Illit was listed as the safest area. Arab-populated regions were noted for good road planning but particularly bad traffic law enforcement. Israeli men are more likely to be involved in car accidents than Israeli women, whilst elderly drivers are three times more likely to be killed in crashes; the report indicated. Or Yarok's ongoing road safety campaign has prompted an extra 10,000 volunteers to complement the 800-strong voluntary traffic police unit. The unit holds similar powers to the police, enabling volunteers to enforce traffic regulations, saving the state a massive NIS 200-220 million in police salaries. The speakers at Monday's press conference were Avi Naor, who is the current chairman of Or Yarok, along with Or Yarok CEO Hessi Mashita and researcher Dr. Tzippe Lotan. "I hope that now everyone will take note of data in every one of those 92 cities and municipalities and plan countermeasures to improve conditions," said Lotan. She stressed that the findings suggested that young male drivers were the most likely to be involved in accidents. She said that she felt this was due to a lack of experience and practical ability to stay alert during unexpected events when driving. Lotan was delighted that Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz had managed to push through the legislation requiring new drivers to be accompanied for three months. Lotan added that there was a need for an improved driver-training program, as well as calling for a zero-tolerance drinking policy for drivers under the age of 21.