Bedouins were involved in the majority of deadly car accidents in the Negev in 2016, according to a report in Makor Rishon.
Minorities in Israel were involved in a much higher percentage of accidents than their relative population levels. The statistics come from Israel’s national traffic police division.
In 2016, 335 people died in traffic accidents. 30% of the injured and 35% of the killed were Arabs, even though they only make up 21% of the population.
In the Negev the situation is even worse.
59% of those involved in traffic accidents were Bedouin, even though they only make up 10% of the percentage of drivers on the road.
One-third of the traffic accidents in the country’s south and one-third of the deaths nationwide in traffic accidents were Bedouins, even though they make up a small minority of the Arab drivers on the road, the police said.
32 of the 39 accidents on Road 25 involved Bedouin, and they accounted for 100% of the fatalities.
13 of the 15 accidents on Road 80 involved Bedouin, and they accounted for 100% of the fatalities.
The towns with the most residents involved in accidents are: Lakiya, Hura, Tel-Sheva, and Kasaifa.
45 of the 55 arrested for driving with revoked licenses were Bedouins.
22 of the 29 arrested driving without any license were Bedouins.
2000 of the 4200 traffic tickets issued on Road 25 were to Bedouins.
124 of the 126 traffic tickets issued on Road 80 were to Bedouins.
On Road 31, from Lakiya to the Dead Sea, 3200 of the 5500 tickets were to Bedouins.
The police are trying to affect change in the driving habits of the Bedouin community.
During the holidays the police opened “Hasbara Tents” in Bedouin towns bringing in Bedouin youth to see images from the accidents, hoping to personalize the message and convince them to be safer drivers.
The police have been trying to teach the Bedouin youth about road safety and following the law.
The police are also in discussions with local Bedouin council heads about the possibility of assisting Bedouin youths with their driving tests, by having local Bedouin volunteers give them courses on driving instruction.
Police say that in 2017, on some of the roads there has been a reduction in accidents, though Bedouin involvement is still high.