Fatal bus accident in Jerusalem

Israel sees one of deadliest weeks on record with 19 road deaths

Critics lament underfunding for traffic police, poor working conditions for bus drivers and sidelining of important reforms after 365 Israelis killed on the road over the past year

Udi Etzion |
Published: 08.14.22, 12:27
Israel saw one of its deadliest weeks on record after 19 people lost their lives in a series of fatal traffic accidents over the span of several days.
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  • In the past year, 365 Israelis were killed in road accidents, averaging one fatality a day.
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    זירת התאונה
    זירת התאונה
    Fatal bus accident in Jerusalem
    Fatalities included a mother and her two young children who were killed on Thursday after a bus lost control and slammed into a store in Jerusalem.
    Also on Thursday, a 54-year-old woman and her seven-year-old niece, both residents of the Arab city of Qalansawe, died when a car and a truck collided at the Be’erotayim Junction along Route 57 near Netanya in central Israel.
    On Wednesday, a 70-year-old pedestrian was killed by a bus in Jerusalem.
    The Traffic Department of the Israel Police has come under fire over soaring death fatalities, with critics arguing the department is underfunded and ill-equipped to properly deal with the matter.
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    זירת תאונת הדרכים בעטרות
    זירת תאונת הדרכים בעטרות
    Aftermath of a car crash in Atarot, Jerusalem
    (Photo: Fire and Rescue Services, Jerusalem District)
    The National Road Safety Plan (Sheinin Committee) recommended as early as 2005 that at least 450 police vehicles be present on Israeli roads during the day, and 300 at night. However, the police received funding for only 150.
    Critics also lamented poor working conditions for Israeli bus drivers, who are working substantially longer hours and get less rest time than their European counterparts, causing fatigue buildup that could lead to deadly errors on the road.
    Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli's attempts to implement reforms to address the issue have mostly gone underfunded and sidelined due to political wrangling.
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    יצחק הרצוג
    יצחק הרצוג
    Isaac Herzog
    (Photo: GPO)
    President Isaac Herzog on Saturday urged Israelis to be cautious on the road.
    "The fight to eradicate traffic accidents is the fight for all our lives," he wrote on Twitter. "I implore all of you - drive, bike and walk carefully. Safeguard yourselves, those who are close to you and all of us!"

    i24NEWS contributed to this story.
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