Sunday, July 25, 2004

The carnage on Israel's roads continued over the weekend with another 6 pointless deaths. A further 260 injured over the weekend according to the Jerusalem Post. Haaretz reports that 304 have now been killed since the start of 2004. As is often the case, the casualty list included inexperienced drivers and truck drivers.

Three people drowned in swimming pools this weekend. A completely futile and uneccessary way to die - with lifeguards standing by? Although one of the victims apparently had a heart attack whilst swimming, there seems to be no reason for the other two deaths to have happened. I hope that those whose negligence contributed will get their due comeuppance.

A further 4 boys, all aged under 10, nearly drowned off a Tel Aviv beach. Who was looking out for them? A bunch of small children, swimming in the open sea, seemingly unsupervised, is a disaster waiting to happen.

It's unfortunately the case that our fate is often not in our own hands. We can try to prevent suicide bombers from attacking our cities and can on an individual level attempt to avoid places where people convene, but ultimately it's a matter of luck. Equally however, we must take personal and societal responsibility for the "routine" deaths which can and must be prevented. Persistent bad drivers should be taken off the roads; not fined and sent back out behind the wheel. Those responsible for deaths through their own negligence must be punished according and must be seen to be punished too. A clear message must be sent - Enough!

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