Poskim and morei halocho have issued a call to
drivers not to exceed the speed limit and to slow down in
residential areas. The call was issued as part of an
government-sponsored campaign against reckless driving.
The rabbis refer to speeding as "a bad character trait." They
recommend that, "all yirei Shomayim review what was
said in reference to Yaakov Ovinu: `And he saw, and he was
distressed.' `And he saw,' is explained as, `lest he be
killed.' `And he was distressed,' means `lest he kill
The rabbonim add, "Surely this peirush applies to
those who speed excessively, endangering themselves and
Among those who signed the proclamation are HaRav Moshe
Halberstam, dayan in the BaDaTz of the Eida
HaChareidis; HaRav Yitzchok Zilberstein, the rav of Ramat
Elchonon in Bnei Brak; HaRav Yehoshua Neuwirth, author of
Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchoso; HaRav Sholom Amar, member
of the Beis Din Harabbani Hagadol; HaRav Shaul Klein, member
of HaRav Wosner's beis din; HaRav Simcha Hacohen Kook,
Chief Rabbi and ravad of Rechovot.
Copies of the call were posted in synagogues throughout the
country and on billboards in chareidi residential centers.
HaRav Simcha Hacohen Kook said that according to
halocho, drivers who are unmindful of safety
regulations fall into the category of "shedders of blood,"
and not only that they are indirect causes of bloodshed. In
reference to the obligation to respect traffic laws, HaRav
Kook said that one who disregards traffic regulations may be
likened to a murderer, and the laws pertaining to a
rodef apply to him in the fullest sense. We must do
our utmost to make sure that safety rules are upheld and that
drivers are careful to keep the regulations, he noted.
The chareidi sector traffic safety campaign is targeting the
dangers of speeding in the initial stage of its campaign. The
National Authority for Road Safety relates that speeding is
the primary cause of fatal traffic accidents in Israel.
Studies made in Israel as well as throughout the world
indicate that excessive illegal speeding endangers the
driver, the passengers and all those on the road. Speeding is
one of the main factors determining the type and severity of