One Out of Four Israeli Drivers Ran Red Lights, Group Says

A typical scene on the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

One out of every four Israeli drivers have deliberately driven through a red light, according to a poll by the Or Yarok (Green Light) road safety group. Most of the ignoring of red lights by drivers occurs, not surprisingly, at stoplights where there are no traffic cameras and little, if any police enforcement or patrols, according to the study by the group.

Of the group that admitted passing red lights (the organization said that there were likely a significant additional number of drivers who did so but would not admit it, even in an anonymous study), 70 percent said that cameras and/or increased surprise police patrols would discourage them from violating the law. A similar number said that they and others crossed the light chiefly in order to save time.

According to Or Yarok, 2,774 drivers who ran red lights were involved in road accidents in 2016, the last year for which figures were available. Commenting on the study, Or Yarok CEO Erek Kita said that “in the rest of the world traffic cameras are standard, and they understand that this is a powerful method to rein in drivers from illegally driving through red lights. That, and not enriching the public treasury by giving out tickets to drivers caught violating the law, should be the main objective of authorities. Drivers who know they are on camera – and that it will cost them a great deal of money if they are caught – will avoid doing so, thus making the roads safer for all of us.”

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