Coffee for a Shekel: Campaign to Fight Road Accidents

Knesset member cites finding that fatigue and a lack of alertness are the main causes of nighttime accidents.

Eyal Toueg

A new campaign to fight road accidents calls for drivers to be offered coffee for 1 shekel ($0.26) between midnight and 6 A.M.

The java will be available at key branches of gas-station convenience-store chains Alonit, Yellow, Menta and So Good, and is being subsidized by the stores. The coffee will be accompanied by pamphlets on nighttime driving from the Center for Road Safety, while the stores are likely to profit from drivers who buy more than just coffee.

Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely, who initiated the project, noted that around 18% of road deaths happened at night.

“The campaign’s goal is to incentivize drivers to stop and refresh themselves during the late-night hours and thus significantly reduce the number of nighttime accidents,” said Hotovely, citing a finding that fatigue and a lack of alertness were the main cause of nighttime accidents.

But the plan fails to address other major reasons for nighttime road accidents; Israelis often speed and pay less attention when there are few other drivers on the road. Also, with the lighting poor, more cyclists and pedestrians are hit by cars.