The Modi'in - Jerusalem 443 highway has been opened to general traffic.
After Israel's Supreme Court ruled that the highway must be opened to Palestinian traffic as well as Israeli traffic, despite the numerous terror attacks, the road has been opened.
If you take that road to Jerusalem (like I do, several times a week), a new and serious problem has arisen.
The IDF moved a checkpoint on 443 from 10 meters south of the Atarot junction to the IDF Ofer base junction. Actually, they didn't move the checkpoint on 443 near Atarot, the IDF abandoned that checkpoint and a built a new one a few kilometers north of it.
So what's the big deal? The traffic light at the Atarot junction.
How can a traffic light be a big deal? If you don't know, highway 443 is a divided highway, 2 lanes in each direction, where the average speed limit is about 90 kph (55 mph). Since the IDF has abandoned the checkpoint, the traffic light has stopped working.
After almost getting smashed by another car yesterday, who was making a left hand turn across 2 lanes of traffic, with a non-operational traffic light, I called up Israel's "National Safety Organization" which is responsible for all safety hazards on Israel's roads. The person on the other end knew right away what I was going to say as soon as she heard, "road 443"
She said; "Its not our fault. We have been trying to resolve the problem of the broken traffic light, but you have to hear the whole story. The light isn't broken at all, but the night the IDF abandoned the intersection, Palestinians stole the electrical transformer for the light.
We immediately called the electric company, which came the next day with a replacement transformer, and the traffic light was operational again.
24 hours later, the new transformer was stolen again by Palestinians.
The police say its not their problem, Maatz say its not their problem, and the electric company is now trying to pick a guarded location for the third transformer, which will take time to be installed..."
I suggested in the meantime, that big signs are posted warning drivers of a dangerous intersection.
Its only a matter of time before someone gets seriously injured or killed there.
I guess the Supreme Court didn't think their decision through properly enough.
In the meantime, if you drive to Jerusalem on 443, please be extremely cautious at the Atarot intersection...its a death trap, courtesy of the Palestinians transformer thieves.
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