Daily Israel Report

Punishment Upped for Severe Traffic Violations

Ministerial Committee approves "drastic" punishment for recidivist violators of traffic laws.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 3/18/2012, 5:54 PM

Israeli road
Israeli road
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved on Sunday a bill submitted by Transport Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) that ratchets up punishment for serious and repeated traffic violations.

The new plan for tougher punishment of traffic offenders was formulated by the Ministerial Committee for Safety Matters, a professional committee that included representatives of the Transport Ministry, the State Attorney's Office, the Courts Administration, the Bar Association, the Israel Police and the National Authority for Road Safety.

Katz noted that the bill includes a long list of "drastic measures," which meaningfully increase punishment for recidivist traffic offenders who endanger themselves and those around them. The bill focuses on life-threatening offenses.

The proposed law lengthens the list of violations for which a person's driver's license can be revoked administratively, and the list of violations for which use of a vehicle can be prohibited.

In cases where a person asks to be tried for an offense with an option for a fine, the amount of the fine will have to be deposited in advance and the fine will be enlarged if the person is found guilty. This measure was taken because many people choose to be tried for the fine option without justification, in order to play for time.

More violations will be punishable with a 30 day license suspension, or a 60 day administrative suspension. A police officer will have the right to suspend a license for 90 days for hit and run accidents, accidents caused by drunk driving, overtaking dangerously, driving with an illegally heavy load and crossing a railroad.