Road Fatalities Prompt Meeting

Ad Feedback - Israeli Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz called an emergency session of the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) to address the high number of road fatalities.

"The results of road accidents since the onset of 2008 are horrendous, and this must be stopped," Mofaz told the meeting's participants.

In the first two months of 2008, 63 people died in road accidents, 22 of whom were pedestrians.

"We are all responsible," Mofaz said. "Forty-five fatalities a month is unacceptable," he said.

Annual data reveals that the overwhelming majority of accidents happen in urban areas. Seventy-four percent of the total number of accidents countrywide and 62 percent of all serious accidents occur in urban settings. Sadly, 60 percent of the fatalities are children.

In March, the NRSA and Israel's Highway Patrol will launch a new enforcement program in urban areas.

Mofaz also called on Traffic Court judges to impose stiffer sentences for offenders.

"Traffic Court judges must share our concern for human lives," the transportation minister said. "Please, lend us your support. Do not leave us to fight this battle on our own," said Mofaz, citing several incidences in which repeated offenders were let off with light sentences or none at all.

"We will not let this become the norm. We will not let this hinder our efforts to fight road accidents," Mofaz said, adding that his ministry will do everything in its power to permanently take driving privileges from repeat offenders.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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