Address by PM Sharon “Green Light” Conference
Photo by GPO 

Good Evening,

As every year, I am happy to participate in the “Green Light” Conference.  At the first “Green Light” Conference, when I told you I hoped there would be more conferences, I was still a little skeptical.  However, I since got to know the “Green Light” Association, and was further acquainted with Avi Naor, and I learnt to appreciate the tremendous effort you make to combat road accidents.  I would like to thank you for that.  I believe that you prove the ability of a group who is deeply troubled by a certain issue, to put that issue on the public agenda and influence what is happening in this country.

Last year when I arrived here, I promised you that in the coming year we would bring for Government approval a comprehensive plan to battle road accidents.
This plan, known as the “Shainin Plan” is now a reality, and thanks to you, it has gained comprehensive public awareness – when you had 1,200,000 Israelis sign a petition on this subject.

As I promised you, we approved the “Shainin Plan” in the Government and are making preparations to implement it in all relevant Government Offices.  I have known Yaacov Shainin for many years, and even if we would not want to do it, he would have forced us.  One of the most important sections of implementing this plan was approved last week.  In the Israel National Roads Company five-year plan, we allocated NIS 2.6 billion for road safety components.  We are thereby correcting a reality which was predominant here for years, of neglecting the safety component.

I would like to thank Minister Meir Sheetrit, who was the main force behind this initiative.  I believe it is a revolutionary step which, with G-d’s help, will help save many lives in Israel in the coming years.

The second part of the “Shainin Plan” implementation, is the approval of the National Authority for Road Safety Law.  We will bring this law to approval before the Knesset dissolves.  Regrettably, populist and self-serving parties joined forces in order to sabotage the rudiments of the law, the road safety toll.  When we approved the plan in the Government, it was evident that it is extremely important to add significant budgets to the battle against road accidents.  I am confident that the public will agree to a small increase in the toll for the purpose of saving lives – it is priceless.  Preventing this toll means preventing the additional budget.  In such a reality we will need to consider how to continue with the legislation process.  I can only assure you that I will not let go of this issue.

One of the important things in your conference (and I would like to say, not only your conference, but also my conference and our conference) is that you do not forget.  Every year, before the conference, you call to follow-up on the advancement of the promises which were made in the previous conference.  I therefore request that you take note: by the fifth “Green Light” Conference, the Authority for the Battle Against Road Accidents Law will be fully approved – exactly as it was presented by the Government.

And, because I intend to come to the fifth “Green Light” conference as Prime Minister, you will be able to test me for that as well.

I thank you again.  You have done, and are continuing to do, a great thing, a truly great thing.  Saving lives is a great thing, perhaps the most important one of all. Again, I wish you success and also thank you for your irreplaceable work.

Thank you.