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Transportation minister reveals new plan to slash traffic casualties in half

Merav Michaeli unveils five-year program that will see 4,000 surveillance cameras installed on roads, as well as new enforcement procedures

Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli, left, and and National Road Safety Authority chair Avi Naor during a press conference at the Ministry of Transportation in Jerusalem, July 31, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli, left, and and National Road Safety Authority chair Avi Naor during a press conference at the Ministry of Transportation in Jerusalem, July 31, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli unveiled Sunday a multi-year plan aimed at improving road safety with the goal of dropping casualties by 50 percent.

At a press briefing together with National Road Safety Authority head Avi Naor, Michaeli said that one of the planned steps is the installation of 4,000 surveillance cameras.

Naor said that “beyond the loss of life, the sorrow and pain for families,” traffic accidents cost the state NIS 15.76 billion ($4.64 billion) a year. He said the plan aimed to reduce that amount to NIS 10 billion.

Under the plan, the country will be divided into geographic clusters that will be targeted according to their specific needs.

It will place particular focus on drivers in the Arab community and young drivers, heavy goods vehicles, buses, transportation vehicles, and two-wheeled vehicles.

Police and the Public Security Ministry are working with the NRSA to develop a new enforcement system. The new cameras will make it possible to gauge a vehicle’s average speed by recording the time it takes to pass between two points on a highway.

Michaeli said she intends to bring the project for government approval in the coming weeks, which will give it the status of a national plan, and that some elements will already be started in the coming quarter.

The five-year plan is to be formally launched in the second quarter of next year, but is dependent on approval of the 2023 state budget.

Michaeli said the plan had already been approved, but the Ynet website reported that it has only been approved in principle. The plan was presented only as bullet points, according to the report.

Ynet reported that Israel has an average of six road deaths per billion kilometers of road use, twice the European average.

According to the Or Yarok road safety lobby group, which is also led by Naor, there have been 192 deaths on the country’s roads since the beginning of the year.

Last Thursday three people were killed in a crash on Route 6 in the south of the country.

Last year, 361 people died on Israel’s roads, according to the National Road Safety Authority.

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