PM backs safety measures for e-bikes after teen killed in hit-and-run

Netanyahu asks justice, transportation, and public security ministries to draft safety protocols for cyclists in wake of death of 17-year-old Ari Nesher

Director Avi Nesher (left), with his son, Ari and wife, Iris (Courtesy Rafi Delouya)
Director Avi Nesher (left), with his son, Ari and wife, Iris (Courtesy Rafi Delouya)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday called for increased safety regulations for cyclists on electric bicycles after the teenage son of a prominent movie director was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his electric bicycle in Tel Aviv last week.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said Netanyahu has instructed his chief of staff, Yoav Horovitz, the Ministry of Public Security, as well as the Justice and Transportation Ministries to propose a series of measures to increase the safety of electric bicycle riders.

Last Monday, 17-year-old Ari Nesher and his friends were riding their electric bikes along Tel Aviv’s Rokach Boulevard when they were hit by Israeli Premier League soccer player Itzhak Asefa, who subsequently fled the scene.

Nesher, who is the son of acclaimed Israeli director Avi Nesher, sustained serious head injuries in the accident and died Thursday at Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv.

Family and friends carry the coffin of 17-year-old Ari Nesher during the funeral in Moshav Udim cemetery, Sunday, September 30, 2018. (Roy Alima/Flash90)

Asefa’s remand was extended until Tuesday, following police questioning Saturday after meeting with his new lawyer, who was appointed by his soccer team F.C. Ashdod.

After Nesher’s death was announced, Hadashot news reported that police wanted to upgrade the charges against him to murder, which carries maximum jail sentence of 20 years.

The television station reported Sunday that Asefa has not confessed to hitting Nesher, citing police sources.

Hadashot news also reported that Asefa was out drinking with his friends when he hit Nesher, and that he had alcohol in his system when he was arrested by police after the accident, but it was unclear whether he drank alcohol before getting behind the wheel. Police said it was possible the alcohol in his system was from alcohol he consumed after fleeing the scene.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Prime Minister’s Office on September 17, 2018. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

After Nesher died, his family announced that they would donate the teen’s organs to honor his past volunteer work with the Magen David Adom rescue service.

“From a belief that there is nothing more important than saving lives, the Nesher family, with exceptional nobility at this most difficult time, decided to donate Ari’s organs with the hope of saving others,” the transplant center said.

His heart was donated to a 60-year-old man whose condition had deteriorated rapidly in recent days. His lungs went to a man, 50, at Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikvah, and the liver was transplanted into a 36-year-old in Tel Aviv.

One kidney went to save a 17-year old at the Schneider Children’s Medical Center, and another was transplanted into a 10-year-old boy in Haifa. His corneas will be transplanted in the coming days, the center said.

In a statement shortly after his death, Nesher’s family said their son had celebrated his 17th birthday surrounded by loved ones at the hospital.

Israeli Premier League soccer player Itzhak Asefa is brought to the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court under suspicion of involvement in a hit-and-run collision that killed a 17-year-old boy in Tel Aviv on September 24, 2018. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

“Our Ari was not just a handsome boy. He was a talented, curious, witty, and happy child,” his family eulogized.

At his funeral, Avi Nesher said he would “pay any price to be his shoes, and be buried in his place.”

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