The 100 phone number (Israel’s equivalent of 911) is meant for police emergencies, but police statistics indicate that no fewer than 20 percent of calls coming into the 100 switchboard are for a much more prosaic reason – to get police assistance in the removal of a vehicle that is blocking the caller’s driveway or a parking spot in a public parking lot. That statistic prompted MKs Rabbi Michael Malkieli (Shas) and Yaakov Peri (Yesh Atid) to jointly sponsor a bill that would authorize police to give out tickets in that situation.
The law was approved for its first reading by the Knesset Economics Committee. Under the law, police will be able to issue summonses for parking that blocks private driveways and spaces in public parking lots, as they do for parking at a bus stop, a space reserved for the handicapped, or the like. Currently, there is little police can do when they are called in those situations, and irate callers sometimes take the law into their own hands, getting themselves and the owners of the illegally parked vehicles into trouble.
Peri said that he decided to sponsor the bill after he was contacted by a friend who manages the residents’ committee of an apartment building in Netanya, who had said that many residents of the building had sought assistance from police on their parking issues, but had gotten no help. Malkieli said that he, too, had been contacted by many citizens, and that the time had come to do something about the problem.