6 more killed on ‘Red Road’ in Jordan Valley

Route 90 in the Jordan Valley was again witness to a horrendous car accident. 

By Jack Gold, World Israel News

Six Palestinians were killed and several others were injured early Sunday morning when a van collided head-on with a truck on Route 90, running through the Jordan Valley. Seventeen people have died on Route 90 in the past 20 days.

Four victims in moderate-serious condition were evacuated to hospitals in Israel.

The tragic accident comes less than a week after a family of eight lost their lives on the same highway.

Route 90 is the longest road in Israel, stretching from Metula and the northern border with Lebanon until Eilat and the southern border with Egypt on the Red Sea.

The segment of the route in which Sunday’s accident occurred is narrow and twisting.

Footage of the accident taken by a security camera shows the truck losing control and veering into the opposite lane. One car dodged a collision by breaking right, while a van traveling right behind swerved towards the truck and collided directly with it.

While the human factor appears to be the prime cause of the majority of the accidents, civil engineering expert Giora Shiloni told Israel’s Mako News that a simple solution to make the roads safer can be implemented within three months for the southern segment that includes the Arava Junction to Eilat.

Green Light group

According to data presented by the Or Yarok (or “Green Light”) Association for Safer Driving in Israel, more than 2,250 road accidents have occurred on Route 90 over the past 15 years, 233 people have been killed in them and over 6,450 were injured, some 700 seriously.

Or Yarok identifies Route 90 as a ‘Red Road,’ meaning sections of it are unsafe.

In total, 255 people have been killed in roads accidents in Israel over the course of 2018.

“Route 90 continues to claim victims as a result of a lacking infrastructure that is not forgiving of driver error,” said Or Yarok CEO Ezra Kita. “This is a road that was paved 50 years ago, and already many years ago it was necessary to improve the infrastructure and turn it from a ‘Red Road’ to a safe road.”

Or Yarok has created a list of ‘Red Roads’ in Israel. They are, starting with the worst:

Route 70

Route 71

Route 31

Route 25

Route 90

Route 65

Route 4

Route 66

Route 89

All the roads suffer from infrastructure problems, according to Or Yarok. The group says the fault doesn’t lie with the government-owned National Roads Authority, which is responsible for highway upkeep, but rather with a lack of funding. Or Yarok advocates for increased funding for Israel’s highway infrastructure.