Safety Authority Blames Road Fatalities on Arab Drivers

YERUSHALAYIM -
The scene of an accident in which 4 people were killed on route 866, near Carmiel, on Monday. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

The head of the Israel National Road Safety Authority said on Tuesday that Arab drivers bear a disproportionate share of the responsibility for traffic accidents in the country.

Speaking a day after four people were killed and nine injured in an accident near the northern city of Carmiel, Giora Rom said to Army Radio that discussion of traffic safety has avoided the real problem.

“It is time to stop talking about infrastructure. There is no infrastructure problem,” Rom asserted.

“The problem here is wild driving that hikes up the high percentage of casualties in the Arab sector…they are 20 percent of the population in Israel but accounted for a third of road deaths in 2016, and half of all deaths since [the beginning of January].”

Police attributed the accident near Carmiel to human error, not road conditions. The driver of a private vehicle veered from his lane for unknown reasons and collided with a van coming in the opposite direction, they said.

“Even if there had been a dividing wall there, only the older woman would have been saved, while the three youths would have died anyway,” Rom added.