Israel has seen a dramatic rise in the number of motorcylists that have been killed on the roadways throughout the country this year. This past weekend, a motorcyclist was killed in an accident that took place on Highway 889 in the northern Galil. He was the 46th motorcyclist to die on the roads already this year. Last year, by the middle of August 33 motorcyclists were killed, which was also a rise from the year before.
According to statistics from the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA), in 2018, a total of 44 motorcyclists were killed. This year, that number has already been passed and it is only the middle of August.
The NRSA also published that thus far 184 people have been killed in road accidents overall, that number is actually lower than last year, when 207 people had been killed by this point of the year.
According to the Or Yarok organization, Israel ranks at number 19 out of 22 countries in the OECD with regard to motorcycle deaths. In addition, Or Yarok also stated that weekends are far more fatal than weekdays.
According to a recent article published by Ynet, the budget for building guard rails that are safe for motorcyclists has been cut. The project, which costs 8 million NIS per year aims to replace all guard rails in the country with ones that are safe for motorcyclists. The budget has not been renewed since 2019 in spite of the high number of fatal deaths, many of which have been caused by motorcyclists slipping and hitting guard rails.
Director of Or Yarok, Erez Kitta said: “It is shocking that in 2020 here has been an almost 50% increase in the death rate of motorcyclists involved in accidents compared to last year. That is with the moths of lockdown and slowdown that the entire country has experienced due to Corona. There is no other population group that has such a high mortality rate in car accidents as motorcyclists. The Transportation Ministry and the NRSA needed to come up with a plan to deal with this a long time ago. 2019 was the deadliest year that Israel has seen in more than 15 years, and 2020 has been even more so. Instead of cutting budgets, we need to increase them so that we can save the life of the next motorcyclist who slips. We need to stop blaming the drivers because that doesn’t save lives. The country needs to take responsibility.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)