Traffic lights
Traffic lightsArutz Sheva

Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan has decided to increase the number of cameras in intersections in order to combat the dangerous, and far too common, phenomenon of drivers running red lights. The Minister also intends to change the penalty policy, summoning more people to court rather than just giving them fines.

In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Attorney Eilon Oron, an expert on traffic law, spoke about the moves by Minister Erdan, saying there is "wall-to-wall agreement" about their necessity. "There's no room for disagreement here. In this issue there is no Coalition and Opposition.

Oron says installing cameras at intersections is very important, even fake ones. "It's enough to deter drivers from taking the risk of looking around and deciding it's safe to run a red light."

As for the common criticism of cameras at intersections, Oron emphasizes that this only arises when the cameras are viewed as a means of making more money for the government. "It's true that enforcement can be too much when we're talking about slight speeding, but no one disagrees that drivers who run red lights should be found and punished."

Attorney Oron explained that "there is an enormous amount of images and footage from the cameras to go through. In certain intersections the cameras were programmed to only pick up extreme speeding in order to deal with the amount of footage.

"There was a time when running a red light was an offense that brought with it a summons to court. All kinds of considerations led to it being downgraded to only a fine. At that point a appeared with two of my friends at the Knesset Finance Committee and said that this was dangerous. They claimed I was only saying that because it's bad for my business. I replied that the fact that I'm making arguments that align with my financial interests doesn't make the arguments invalid. Now you see that things are being changed back.

Oron mentioned later in the conversation that many times drivers will run a red light due to inattention, not criminal intent. However, many times, those who run a red light while trying to "beat" the traffic and simply get away with it, escape with only fines.

"Most traffic accidents are caused by good people simply losing their concentration for a moment," Oron said, and stated once again that more cameras are a very good idea because they'll cause drivers to think twice about running a red light intentionally, and pay more attention to what they're doing in general. "The solution lies in more deterrence, not necessarily more enforcement."