The death of a motorcyclist Thursday morning brought the number of fatalities so far this year on the country’s roads to 319, already surpassing the total for the year before and bucking a recent downward annual trend.
In 2018 a total of 316 people died in traffic accidents according to figures from the National Road Safety Authority.
A motorcyclist died Thursday morning after skidding on Route 40 near the southern city of Kiryat Gat. The man, said to be about 40, was critically injured and medics who arrived were unable to save his life. On Wednesday a woman, 45, and a man in his thirties were killed in separate traffic accidents.
In another incident overnight Tuesday, a 19-year-old was killed after being hit and run over by a light rail train in Jerusalem. Her death is not included in the statistics.
Until this year, the number of annual traffic-related fatalities had been steadily dropping, with 364 in 2017, and 377 in 2016.
This year has seen a particularly sharp rise in motorcycle deaths, with 65 since the beginning of the year compared to just 44 for the whole of 2018.
Sixteen bicycle riders have been killed, and another 14 people died in electric bike accidents. In 2018 a total of 16 bicycle riders were killed, and 19 people were killed on electric bikes.
A spokeswoman said the National Road Safety Authority would wait until the end of the year before commenting on the numbers.
On Monday, a 49-year-old mother of five was killed in a three-car collision on a highway in northern Israel. The crash came after a deadly weekend on the roads in which four people were killed in three traffic accidents: a mother and her three-week-old baby were killed early Sunday in a West Bank car crash and two pedestrians were killed in separate incidents in central Israel.
Since the establishment of the state in 1948, 34,051 people have died on the roads, of whom 5,132 were children or minors, according to the NRSA.
The traffic-related death toll figure is higher than the total of war casualties, which, at the last Memorial Day in May, stood at 23,741 soldiers who have died since 1860 defending the pre-state Jewish community and Israel. A further 3,150 Israelis have been killed in terror attacks during that time.