A drunk couple blocked a desert highway to dance in the street late on Tuesday, risking life and limb.
M., a truck driver, who observed the pair who were hugging and dancing outside their car, alerted a police patrol he encountered soon after, and warned of the potential of an accident.
“I was driving on my way to Eilat,” M. told Ynet on Thursday, “when suddenly I noticed a parked car in the middle of the highway, blocking two lanes. Two young people were dancing and hugging in the middle of the road. I didn’t understand what was happening, but I went off the road to avoid hitting them and stopped a police car a few kilometers away," he said.
“I reported what I saw to an officer and told him my camera had recorded the entire event. He drove back up the road, and arrested the couple. He later returned and asked me for my footage, telling me the two were very drunk,” he said.
M. has been hauling cargo along the Arava road in southern Israel for many years. The highway was considered dangerous after 33 people died, and 430 were injured in accidents in the last decade.
“It was lucky that I managed to see them because I was driving a truck, and you can see pretty far ahead due to the height of the cabin," he said. "I would’ve probably hit them if I had been driving a private vehicle.” M. said.
“I use that road often and have seen many accidents, mainly at night, he said. "I even saw someone dancing in the nude, on that same road, " he said.
Yaniv Yaakov, who heads the Or Yarok non-profit fighting traffic accidents, said the alert driver had likely prevented the couple paying a heavy cost.
"A car driving at the speeds of 90 kmph (60 mph) late at night in complete darkness, is unable to see dangers and react in time. Highway 90 is a main to the south of the country and the city of Eilat, and is heavily patrolled by police in order to deter traffic violations. But we must improve its infrastructure, and make sure it’s safe throughout.”
Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli recently approved emergency funding and a program estimated to cost 110 million shekels, to improve the highway's infrastructure, by the end of 2023, including better lighting, more lanes and barriers.
The police will also increase its presence on the road, adding emergency stops to allow the force to stop cars violating traffic laws.