An Israeli report issued by the government's National Roads Safety Authority on Sunday, claimed Israel ranked 8 out of 37 OECD nations in traffic related deaths, when in fact it ranks worst according to data collected by the European Traffic Safety Council.
According to the European Traffic Safety Council's report, which was released last June, European countries managed to reduce the number of road accident fatalities by an average of 3% in 2018-2019 - while in Israel the number of such fatalities has actually risen by 17%.
The report also claims that in the past decade, European countries have managed to reduce the number of fatalities in road accidents by an average of 23%, while at the same time Israel reduced the number of fatalities by only 8.2% on average.
Furthermore, in the past two decades, European countries have managed to reduce the number of deaths by an average of 56%, while Israel has recorded a much smaller decline - only 40% on average.
The National Road Safety Authority's report said that while some improvements have been made in traffic safety, in Israel 2.5 times more children are killed on the roads than the European average.
"In the years 2013-2019, there were several trends that saw road safety in Israel improve,” said the head of the National Road Safety Authority Rachel Tevet-Wiesel. ”The risk in relation to private vehicles and trucks decreased significantly, and there was a consistent decrease in injuries to children up to the age of 14. The last two years have also been characterized by a significant decrease in injuries among those aged 65 and up.”
Despite the improvement, several negative trends were also seen, admits Tevet-Wiesel: "There has been a significant increase in overall travel, which contributed to an increase in accidents. an increase in the number of motorcyclists injured was also noted. Recent years have also been marked by a worrying increase in the number of serious road accidents among tiny vehicles, such as motorized scooters.”
Erez Kita, the Ceo of Or Yarok, an advocacy group aiming to promote road safety, said that the NRSA report lacks important comparative data, most of which show Israel's failure to reduce road fatalities, compared to other countries in the world.
"The state is required to be transparent in presenting the full data, even if some of it does not paint the government in a positive light. Our goal is to save lives, she said. "By presenting a partial picture we can not really understand the failures and problems and act to correct them.”
At the cabinet meeting on Sunday, Transportation Minister Miri Regev presented a proposal to establish a committee that would formulate a plan to reduce 50% of road fatalities by 2030. Meanwhile, plans already prepared in the early 2000s have not yet been fully implemented by the government.