Comptroller Says Traffic Cameras Not Up to Speed

YERUSHALAYIM -
View of traffic in Ramat Gan. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
View of traffic in Ramat Gan. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

State comptroller Yosef Shapira has severely criticized the Israeli police for the inefficient use of its new traffic cameras, as well as a general failure to enforce traffic laws, Globes reported on Thursday.

To date, approximately 100 million shekels has been invested in the A3 project for deployment of traffic cameras around the country, and another 4.8 million has been allocated for more cameras, without fixing the system, the comptroller charged.

Due to the enormous backlog of cases, police “unreasonably” raised the enforcement thresholds for traffic violations.

Cameras were set to detect speeds far above the limit. For example, a camera in the Tel Aviv area was set to enforce speeding above 155 miles per hour on a street where the speed limit is 30 mph.

Overall, 43 per cent of the cameras were programmed to catch only serious offenses, driving double the speed limit on highways and 50 mph over the urban speed limit.

More than half the cameras did not document offenses punishable only by monetary fines.

The violations that the cameras did document were “ineffectively handled… some of the severe traffic violations documented by the cameras were simply erased out of record.”

The comptroller’s office furthermore said that thousands of indictments were erased from the books each year without being assigned court dates because of the “inefficient distribution of court dates.”

The comptroller found 55,000 indictments for traffic violations were erased in 2012–2015 because of the statute of limitations, the majority unrelated to project A3.

The report noted the 17,160 indictments awaiting a trial date in February 2015 with some violations dating as far back as 2007.