Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Reducing the Numbers of Car Accidents

Car accidents – And how you can help reduce the number of accidents

The wheel is in your hands

This post has been prepared for you by Tzvi Szajnbrum, Attorney at Law

In the Israeli police, there is a special unit in charge of informing families that their relative – father, child, mother, or sibling – has died in a car accident. Sometimes, the right sentence is: “They were killed in an accident”.

This special unit is formed by only six policeman and they are never “off duty”.

We all can and should help to reduce the number of accidents.

The legal aspect and the most recent changes in the traffic law court is dealt with in this post.

In the last few years, especially in the last three years, judges in the traffic law courts have started a slow – but very active – process of changing punishment criteria.

The meaning of this change is that convicted defendants can be kept in prison for long periods of time, even when the victims are members of their own family.

Think about of how tragic it can be for a parent that, besides killing their own child, they must also serve time in prison!

Car and accident insurance:
Until now, there have not been changes in car insurance policy[1]. These policies cover in case of an accident even a driver who is under the effect of alcohol, but it does not cover the driver under the influence of drugs like marihuana, cocaine, ecstasy and other similar narcotics.

The mandatory insurance (Bituach Chova) is one of the best in the world and I advise you to never (1) go out with your car or even turn on the engine[2] without this insurance. The law is clear on this matter and every vehicle must be covered with this mandatory insurance, which must be valid and kept in the driver’s possession.

Some tips

One of the best media advertisements was produced by an insurance company named “ASNE” (which doesn’t exist anymore). The slogan said: On the road, do not be right, be smart. Just a tip: leave your pride on the side and remember that you have a family waiting for you at home.

Many times I (or my motorcycle) hope to make it to the office and back home alive.

Let the other drivers turn on the high beam in your face or on your back. Let them honk, swear, drive past you... It is not worth it to get all worked up about it. Think about your family waiting at home. Think about your friends and about the wonderful life that awaits you!

The driver is on duty – who will it be today?

One of the greatest solutions today that works very well is the famous “HANAHAG HATORAN”: the driver on duty.

I always ask my son, who is 22 years old; 6’ tall, weighs 210 lbs, and was a member of an elite unit in the army, who he is going out with and who is bringing the car back. So what? It is still the father or the mother who commands the car wheel. If the answers are not good enough, there are no car keys! I tell him to take a cab!

Tell your child, tenderly and firmly, that, if they drink, their father or mother will pay for the cab ride or will pick them up. Make it very clear that it is no inconvenience.

Tell them that they can call you anytime, even late at night. Make your children be sure that you will always be there to help them, whenever and wherever, and that this will not be a reason for you to be upset or for them to be punished.

Footnote by Shoshanah Shear: We would like to thank Tzvi Szajnbrum for preparing this article both to outline the law and to indicate the important role of parents and the responsibility of drivers. Working as an Occupational Therapist both in Rehabilitation and in Medico-Legal work, one message that hit home was, an accident happens in a split second. Afterwards we think of all the things we could have done to prevent it. Please, listen to Tzvi Szajnbrum. Think of your family before something happens. Afterwards is already too late.

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