In response to security needs and to ease the burden both on the police force and the courts, police have been very liberal during the past few years in enforcing “speed trap” cameras — video cameras placed strategically along many highways that alert police to issue a summons when they detect that a driver is speeding.
In recent years, as Arab terror escalated and the police force was forced to deploy in a security role, police chose not to prosecute many of the drivers who violated speeding laws. In order to meet a challenge by a motorist who receives a summons, police have to send an officer down to the courtroom, resulting in the loss of day’s work — often a year or more after a summons was issued, due to the congestion of the courts and the long wait for a court date.
Thus, it made sense to go easy on drivers. But it appears that the free ride is now over. One of the methods by which police lowered their engagement with speeders was by effectively increasing the speed limit, so that no summonses were issued unless a driver was exceeding the speed limit by 20 kilometers per hour. No more. Beginning in December, police have been issuing summonses for any violation of the speed limit. With terrorism back down to “manageable” levels — and with critics demanding more enforcement of safety regulations to lower the number of accidents on Israeli roads — police sources confirmed what many Israeli traffic violators learned the hard way when they received a ticket in the past month — that law enforcement suddenly got tighter.
And now there are more cameras than ever. Beginning this week, cameras on the Ayalon Expressway, which connects the different neighborhoods and suburbs of Tel Aviv, will begin operating. Speeders, as well as drivers who drive in public transportation lanes, could receive fines of NIS 500, police said.