Not safe at all: 76.4% of pedestrians injured while crossing a road were injured at a crosswalk

On September 15, 2022, an eight-year-old boy was killed and an 11-year-old boy was slightly injured, after being hit by a bus on Sderot Menachem Begin in Ashdod. From an investigation, it is suspected that the bus driver, who left the central station complex, hit the child while he was apparently crossing the crosswalk.

According to the data of the Green Light Association based on the data of the Helm"s, 76.4% of all pedestrians injured in 2021 when crossing the road, were injured at the crosswalk – the place that is supposed to be the safest to cross the road.

According to the data, in 2021 31 people were killed while crossing the road at the crosswalk and 1,632 were injured, 228 seriously. Almost all those killed at a crossing in 2021 died in the urban area – 27 killed out of 31 pedestrians.

Over 17,000 people were injured while crossing the road at the crossing in the last decade, about 1,700 injured every year.

According to Do"For the Green Or Association, 98 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents on Israel’s roads in 2021 – 27% of all traffic accident fatalities that year – one in four fatalities.

Pedestrians are a vulnerable population since the transportation system in Israel, as in many other countries, was largely designed from the point of view of the vehicle user, without any real consideration for the needs of pedestrians. Without physical protection measures, in every encounter with vehicles, the pedestrian will be hurt.

Israel is one of the countries where the proportion of pedestrians among the total number of fatalities is very high compared to the average in other countries, a figure that requires focused attention and a solution to the problem. In the reality of traffic congestion and congested city centers, walking has a significant advantage, both in terms of health and environmental quality, at the same time as reducing traffic congestion.

Beyond casualties, pedestrian accidents also cost the state a lot of money

Every year the economic damage to the state from traffic accidents involving pedestrians amounts to 2.4 billion shekels, each accident in which a pedestrian is injured costs the state 277 thousand shekels on average. And the solution? Simple, cheap and life-saving – a deceleration strip reduces traffic accidents by 40% in the same place where it is installed.

The most casualties in Tel Aviv, an increase in casualties in Holon and Haifa, – data for the major cities:

· In Tel Aviv, 2,175 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the last decade (2012-2021), of which 29 people were killed. In 2021, 200 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the city, this compared to 177 who were injured the year before.
· In Jerusalem, 1,581 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the last decade (2012-2021), of which 15 people were killed. In 2021, 129 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the city.
· In Haifa, 1,145 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the last decade (2012-2021), of which 17 people were killed. In 2021, 106 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the city, compared to 85 who were injured the year before.
· In Petah Tikva, 900 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the last decade (2012-2021), of which 16 people were killed. In 2021, 74 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the city.
· In Holon, 661 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the last decade (2012-2021), of which nine people were killed. In 2021, 76 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the city, compared to 47 who were injured the year before.

· In Ashdod, 722 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the last decade (2012-2021), of which 12 people were killed. In 2021, 67 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the city.
· In Bat Yam, 656 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the last decade (2012-2021), of which nine people were killed. In 2021, 55 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the city.
· In Netanya, 595 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the last decade (2012-2021), of which 12 people were killed. In 2021, 68 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the city.
· In Ramat Gan, 519 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the last decade (2011-2021), of which six people were killed. In 2021, 51 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the city.
· In Bnei Brak, 505 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the last decade (2012-2021), of which one person was killed. In 2021, 51 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the city.

· In Ashkelon, 444 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the last decade (2012-2021), of which 12 people were killed. In 2021, 36 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the city.
· In Rishon Lezion, 436 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the last decade (2012-2021), of which 11 people were killed. In 2021, 44 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the city.
· In Be’er Sheva, 362 pedestrians were injured at a crossing in the last decade (2012-2021), of which eight people were killed. In 2021, 26 pedestrians were injured at a crosswalk in the city.

The city within whose boundaries the most pedestrians were injured while crossing a crosswalk in 2021 is Tel Aviv-Jaffa, within whose boundaries 200 pedestrians were injured, and thus this is a significant increase compared to the year before it. Jerusalem – is the second city in the number of pedestrians injured at the crosswalk in 2021 – 129 pedestrians, the third city is Haifa – 106 pedestrians were injured at the crosswalk in the city this year. Haifa also recorded an increase in pedestrians injured at a crosswalk when crossing the road compared to the previous year, the fourth city in the number of casualties is Holon with 76 pedestrians followed by Petah Tikva with 74 casualties.

O"D. Yaniv Yaakov CEO"To Green Light Association: "It is dangerous to cross a road in Israel. We educate our children to cross only at a crosswalk, but the crossing has become dangerous and unsafe. In recent years, there has been an increase in injuries to pedestrians at the crosswalk when the scene of the injury is very clear, therefore the Ministry of Transportation and Road Safety, together with the local authorities, must install measures that will destroy and moderate the traffic and the speed of travel near the crosswalks. These are cheap and simple measures to install such as deceleration lanes near schools, kindergartens, parks and public gardens, but those that can make the difference between life and death. Even near nursing homes and day care centers for the elderly, the infrastructure must be adapted so that it gives priority to senior citizens and allows them to cross the road safely. The time has come to prioritize pedestrians in order to reduce their high risk of accidents and save lives".

Crossing a road
Illustration. Photo: pixabay

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