Double-parked car in parking lot
Double-parked car in parking lot iStock

The Knesset voted Monday evening to approve a bill making double parking and similar acts a criminal offense, empowering police officers to take action against the drivers. The new law also makes it a criminal offense to park in the exit and entry areas around handicapped spaces.

The bill was first proposed in 2017 by Shas MK Michael Malchieli and Yesh Atid MK Yaakov Peri. The Knesset gave initial approval for the bill in a November 2017 vote, but did not complete the process for passing the bill until last night.

In the final vote, the parking bill was passed unanimously, 45 to 0.

The bill amends existing traffic laws, explicitly banning the practice of double parking, and making parking in a way that blocks other vehicles from parking in properly designated spaces a criminal act. The ban extends to vehicles blocking parking spaces in both public parking lots and private residential parking areas reserved for residents of apartment buildings or housing blocs.

“Existing traffic laws regulate the movement of vehicles, parking and pedestrian traffic,” the bill reads.

“The provisions of the law do not currently grant clear enforcement powers to municipal police officers and inspectors for parking lots in shared buildings. As a result, occupants who encounter a parked vehicle that is not in accordance with existing traffic regulations, in a manner that is not safe, that may endanger pedestrians or vehicles, [are powerless to deal with] the safety nuisance.”

“Therefore, it is proposed to make it clear that parking in a lot contrary to traffic regulations, in a manner that restricts or prevents the passage of vehicles, in a manner that is not safe, is a [criminal] offense, and police officers will have the enforcement powers already established by law.”