Agency red-flags roadside sales

Agency red-flags roadside sales

Officials appeal to youngsters and drivers to abandon impromptu blue and white purchases on street corners ahead of Independence Day

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Selling flags to drivers is an annual tradition before Independence Day (photo credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash90)
Selling flags to drivers is an annual tradition before Independence Day (photo credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash90)

The National Road Safety Authority is appealing to youths to refrain from their customary sale of national flags to drivers at road junctions ahead of Israel’s Independence Day, Artuz 7 reported on Monday.

Authority director Ron Moskovitz said that the practice endangers the lives of the young vendors as well as that of other road users.

Each year during the week or so before Independence Day thousands of children across the country embrace the now traditional practice of selling small Israeli flags to drivers waiting at traffic lights. In their efforts to complete as many transactions as possible before the lights go green, the youngsters often risk life and limb dodging moving traffic as they ply their wares. The flags are then attached to the windows of cars in a display of national pride and identity.

However, this year the road safety authority is calling on parents to rein in their children and forbid them to sell flags on the streets. Likewise, the agency said that drivers should refrain from buying flags sold at precarious junctions in favor of safer locations.

Moskovitz hopes to enlist the help of other organizations for the campaign and has approached, among others, the chairman of the Knesset House Committee for Children’s Rights, Zevulun Orlev; the head of the Traffic Police; and the director-general of the Education Ministry.

Arutz Sheva reported that Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger and the disaster victim identification organization Zaka, who have joined forces in the campaign to reduce road accidents, also lent their support to the idea. Metzger suggested that the flag sales be conducted at gas stations and other, safer, venues instead of on the roads.


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