- The Center for Driver Research and Injury Prevention operated a five month project for speed control and injury reduction in the Israeli resort town of Netanya between March and July 1996. The project was carried out with the participation of the Transport Ministry Safety Administration, the Israel Police Force, the Netanya Minicipality, the Metuna Voluntary Organisation, and the Betz Safety Center at the Hebrew Universtiy Hadassa School of Public Health.
- The aim of the project was to reduce the number of road casualties (dead and injured) using online roadside electronic enforcement, together with widescale publicity.
- The number of speed citations increased over the five month period of the project 30 – fold, compared with the corresponding period in the previous year, from less than 80 citations in 1995 to some 2500 citations in 1996. The average speeds in Netanya were reduced by between 10 and 20% during the project, though speeds increased to their former value one month after the end of the project.
- The results for the period of the project in 1996 compared with the corresponding period of 1995 were as follows. The number of road deaths dropped from 9 in 1995 to 5 in 1996 (a reduction of 4-5%). The reduction in deaths was more pronounced between intersections, where it dropped from 7 to 2 (a reduction of 70%). The overall number of traffic casualties dropped from 328 to 248 (a reduction of 24%). The number of injury related crashes dropped from 215 to 176 (a reduction of 18%), while the number of severely injured and killed dropped from 46 to 35 (reduction of 23.9%).
- The 1996 casualty reductions in Netanya were unique compared with large rises in ten comparison towns in nearly all crash categories. The results for Netanya show an overall 50.1% drop in traffic casualties, and a reduction of 34.7% in injury related crashes in comparison with the trends in the comparison towns.
- There was a progressively cumulative impact of the program during the 1996 March to July operation period. The program was stopped just as its impact on crash and injury reduction was shown not to be a chance reduction.
- There was a remarkable influence of the project on two Netanya roads (Ben Gurion and Ben Zvi Boulevards) where the pre-project travel speeds were particularly high. The following combined results were obtained for these roads during the project.
a. Sharp drop in travel speeds.
b. 100% reduction in killed and seriously injured – from 15 to 0 !!!
- The results of the Netanya Project prove that the combination of extensive publicity and speed enforcement – brings about swift and substantial reductions in the number of traffic casualties, especially in urban areas where high travel speeds represent a substantial crash risk. Similar results were found in other countries.
- In our opinion the operation of this program in ten towns (similar to the comparison towns) would permit an annual reduction of some 1000 traffic casualties. Country-wide operation of the program (urban and interurban) would permit an annual reduction of some 10,000 casualties including 200 fatalities. Such a large scale program would begin giving results within two months of operation.