Min. Katz Tells his Deputy, Hotovely: Slow Down

Minister of Transport shoots down his deputy's independent initiatives on speed cameras and speed limits.

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Gil Ronen,

Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely
Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely
Flash 90

Yisrael Katz (Likud Beytenu), the Minister of Road Safety and National Infrastructures, is unhappy about policy pronouncements that his deputy minister, MK Tzipi Hotovely (also of Likud Beytenu), made earlier Thursday. He has made his displeasure known by shooting down her initiatives.

Speaking at Bar Ilan University, Hotovely said that she would take action to forbid young drivers from using cellphones while driving, even with a speakerphone. She also said that the policy regarding speed cameras needs to change, and that it should be guided by a principle of “transparency.”

A sign should be placed before every camera to let the drivers know that they are approaching it, she said. The cameras need to be placed in the locations that are more prone to accidents – “not just on fast roads.”

"The purpose of placing the cameras is to reduce the number of accidents, not to take money from citizens,” she explained.

Hours after Hotovely spoke, Katz instructed the ministry's director, Uzi Yitzhaki, to make clear to Deputy Minister Hotovely that the Ministry of Transport does not deal with the matter of speed cameras and that this is completely under the purview of the Ministry for Public Security.

Regarding the setting of speed limits on particular roads, he said – the matter is under the exclusive authority of the minister of transport – Katz himself – and no one else.

A bill that forbids young drivers from using speakerphones while driving has not been handed over to the minister for perusal or approval, he said. All initiatives by the deputy minister, including bills for legislation, need to be brought to the minister for approval after the necessary staff work, he added.

Katz clarified that he has no intention of approving a bill that would forbid the use of speakerphones by young drivers.

Hotovely has been tasked with directing the ministry's activities on road safety, the minister said. In this capacity, she is to follow the policy laid down by the minister and bring forth her own initiatives on road safety.