Israeli Drivers Have More to Fear Than Cops When It Comes to Lane Violations

Budgetary bill would authorize Roads Company, local councils to photograph and fine cars in bus lanes, for a start.

The Economic Arrangements Bill includes an innovative proposal whereby the National Roads Company (formerly the Public Works Department) and the local councils would be authorized for the first time to enforce traffic laws.

Under the proposal, the company and the local councils will be granted authority to install and operate video cameras alongside public transportation lanes and exact fines for lane violations based on video images. These cameras will document mainly prohibited driving in the public transportation lanes but also failure to yield the right of way and running red lights.

The fines dished out to errant drivers will be for sums identical to those on the tickets currently written by the police. If a vehicle is caught in a public transportation lane twice within one hour, the driver will be fined only for the first violation. The income from the fines will go to the local council if it imposes the fine, or to state coffers if the Israel National Roads Company issues the ticket.

This decision rectifies a thorny problem of trying to expedite the movement of buses through restricted lanes, which private cars often clutter. Transferring enforcement to the local councils and the Roads Company will reduce the burden on the police force, which will no longer have to assign personnel and financial resources to this issue.