Buses to Be Equipped With Cameras to Catch Bus Lane Violators

YERUSHALAYIM -
An Egged bus. (RickP)

The Transport Ministry has already set up cameras along bus lanes in cities in order to prevent drivers of passenger cars from using them – and now it plans to equip buses with cameras as well. A pilot program with buses from the Metropoline bus company, which operates in the Sharon area, yielded thirty tickets for violators in a period of just four hours.

The cameras are mounted on the front side mirror of the bus, and are essentially invisible to drivers, unlike the cameras on the side of the road. However, because of costs, those cameras can only be placed at certain intervals and on specific routes, and drivers already have a database of the locations of cameras. With the mobile cameras, Ministry officials said, it will be much more difficult for violators to “cheat” the system, as they won’t know which buses the cameras are mounted on.

Roadmatric, the company that manufactures the camera, told the Ministry that in order for the system to be effective, the cameras needed to be installed on 20 percent of the buses on the road. Each system costs $10,000, with images and data sent via a wide-area network.

Earlier this year, the Knesset Economic Committee authorized an initial plan to allow municipalities to set up cameras in 300 kilometers of public transportation lanes and allow them to collect fines from drivers who violate the rules. Fines for violators will be up to NIS 500. The plan is designed to ensure the smooth flow of public transportation, in the hope that if buses can move faster, more people will be encouraged to use them instead of their cars, the Committee said.