a different side of Israel

Accidents Death Toll Skyrockets Amid Political Bickering

SUV Accident Aug 2007We had a “great” few days on the road in Israel again.. EIGHT PEOPLE DIED IN ACCIDENTS SINCE LAST THURSDAY
This week alone we had 14 killed, and this month there were 40 people killed in car accidents. This morning there is an emergency government session to discuss the carnage on the roads and what our political leaders are going to do about this crisis. I can’t wait.

On Thursday 3 people were killed in the North on highway 805 when there 7 passenger SUV crashed into the side of an 18 wheeler (Ynet picture). The road crosses several local villages in half and is a notorious death track. Despite local residents complaints to police and the Road Safety Authority nothing was done.

Over the weekend a family of 4 was killed when their car lost control on a northern highway. A 23 year old was driving his aunt, uncle and their son back home when for some reason he lost control over the car. Police say that speed is a factor in this accident.

Speed and reckless driving are the cause for many accidents. As the number of Israeli drivers and cars increases, we see worse and more frequent accidents. What are the reasons for them? We are an undisciplined, disrespectful and lawless people. We have no respect for the law. We are aggressive in our daily life and the road is no exception. Couple all of these wonderful traits with a weak, poorly managed, poorly planned, poorly run government agency that is supposed to combat the massacre on the roads, and you get the kind of numbers we see here every day.

This morning I was standing first at a red light in a busy intersection in Tel Aviv (near Azrielli). Waiting for the lights to change. A traffic cop on a scooter wiggled by the waiting cars and came to a stop in the middle of the pedestrian walk right in front of me. By any traffic law in any civilized country this would be considered an infraction. A pedestrian walking across the street pointed this out to the traffic cop and she ignored him. This is a major cause for our disease. How can you respect an officer of the law when you see them breaking the law so blatantly? Where is the shame of getting caught breaking the law you’re supposed to uphold? Where is living by example – at least when you are wearing the uniform?

Shaul Mofaz Minister of TransportationToday’s government meeting promises to be interesting to say the least. Shaul Mofaz, Minister of Transportation, stormed out of the budget meeting last week when he was told that 150 Million Shekel was going to be trimmed off his budget for the Road Safety Authority (RSA) office. He left a note for Olmert saying that “this was national irresponsibility and I will not be a part of this”.
The Ministry of Treasury “boys” said the reaction was not justified. According to them, they postponed to 2008 this proposed increase of 150M in light of the current balance. Apparently the office has only used 20% of its 2007 budget to date. They also said that they offered to supplement the RSA budget if needed at any point during the next fiscal year.

Olmert GovernmentOlmert on his end called for the immediate resolution to this crisis. His people sent a message that there was not one office “guilty” for the current condition but that all differences must be put aside to resolve the crisis. This political crap is also a factor in our crisis on the roads.

No one authority or ministry will make this stop. The change needs to be done all across the spectrum and it comes down to the basics. These are just some personal experiences from the last little while and a “shopping list” of the factors in our high kill rate on the roads:

Road Safety Authority – try driving down a street where there is construction. These people can actually have a dead end road (this happened in my neighborhood) without a single sign warning local traffic. Instead of allowing people to avoid the area by placing a sign when you enter the area, maybe a detour sign, they let you get right up to a backing up construction bulldozer and then have someone pointing you down a street so backed up that you regret leaving the house. This is all part of a morning commute before you actually leave your neighborhood. In this case the budget is not the issue but basic courtesy, professionalism and someone with a brain in their head managing the project.

Police – Driving to Eilat is a harrowing experience on a good day. The road is not the best to start with, there is one lane through a boring prairie and traffic sometimes slows down because of a slower driver. I actually watched a police man with his family on the way to Eilat driving and passing cars at 160 KM/Hour. He was cutting, bobbing and weaving all the way causing other cars to honk and hi beam their fellow drivers in panic. This was a man going on vacation, in a marked Police car and 2 kids in the back seat. This again is living by example!

Ministry of Justice – There are so many examples of the lack of backbone in this ministry its not even funny. Not counting political persecution , the way traffic offenders are handled in the courts is a joke. Three weeks ago a truck driver with 190 traffic infractions was allowed to get back into his truck and squash to death a family of 4, killing the father and his 5 year old boy. Four different judges suspended his license NINETEEN times and not one of these “judicial experts” thought that maybe it was time he was taken off the road. These are the people who are in charge of applying the law of the land to deter criminals…

Political Rats – They are everywhere and we all know that. There is no long term commitment by the minister to the office. Getting the job depends on who you know not by what you know (look at Peretz our ex Minister of Defense). Once a minister comes into office they are not going to be there long enough to put a plan together and see it through. Ministers are just passing through on their way to the next big gig. There is no commitment, consistency and follow up. It’s always easy to blame the problems on the previous putz.

Manners & Respect – Wikipedia says this about them:

In sociology, manners are the unenforced standards of conduct which show the actor to be cultured, polite, and refined. They are like laws in that they codify or set a standard for human behavior, but they are unlike laws in that there is no formal system for punishing transgressions.

and this

Respect is an assumption of good faith and competence in another person or in the whole of oneself. Depth of integrity, trust, complementary moral values, and skill are necessary components.

so we obviously don’t have either of these. You need to be taught these things at home, and for the majority of us this apparently stopped happening a while ago.


I just saw a news bulletin. Olmert, political animal that he is, quickly opened the meeting by announcing that there will be no cuts to the RSA budget. Is this the answer ? Who cares, as long as it looks good…


  1. Great article EB. Hope all is well with everyone at OneJerusalem 🙂

  2. HI Virginia,

    Where have you been? It’s been a while since you last were in touch on this blog/

  3. Hi Maurice 🙂

    Well, I have been going to the most [just indescrible] Messianic Synagogue. And a funny thing happened as I was sitting there Shabbat after Shabbat amongst those the Rabbi blessed; I woke up one morning to find myself in Medical School!

    So many wonderful changes in my life! I am REALLY looking forward to this New Year coming up and celebrating the High Holy Days with God’s people! Learning so much in so many area’s, sometimes it’s just hard to keep up. I hope you all know that whether I am posting or not, everytime I think of you I pray God’s Blessings for you.

    Just finishing up Medical Terminology, it has been a BEAR! Final this Wednesday. Will be posting soon. Love & Blessings to all.

  4. I just read through this piece and I can say that is the one of the best I’ve read on this subject.

    Something is terribly wrong if even the Pime Minister, and his aids run red lights and subsequently injure people – especially children.

    Israelis need lessons on how to be decent human beings, and not just arrogant people who go around with big ‘chips’ on their shoulders. If people in Israel wonder why much of the world is against them, they should spend 5 to 10 minutes looking at themselves in a mirror each morning.

    They might not like what they see…….

  5. ishwender chaudhary

    October 13, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    All is not well in this world in relation to roal accident cases. Government of all the country is not willing to control the road accidents. In fact road accident can be reduced in one month in any part of the world by construction of roundabouts in the area but nobody is interesting in it. and thinks that roundabouts are bull sit.

  6. ishwender chaudhary

    October 23, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    I can control the road accidents in any part of the world in one month if i be given chance. i have written so many people about how to control the road accidents but no body is willing to accept changes in the road planning because the changes are always painful but these people do not know that changes are inevitable. sooner or later the changes will take place in the world and all the intersections will be changed into ROUNDABOUTS. There is one more type of roundabout shall come into existance in the world and that would be U-TURN type roundabout. i have seen the future in this regards and whole world must accept it in coming years. if you do not trust on me than it is your narrow mindness. if you give me challenge to control the traffic jam and road accidents in any where than i am ready to give demonstration in this regard. my email is and see the future through my eyes.

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