Egged bus (illustrative)
Egged bus (illustrative) Meir Sela

The Tel Aviv District Court has issued a ruling demanding that the Egged Ta’avura bus company, a subsidiary of Egged, pay damages to Mor Simhi, a teenage girl who was told by a bus driver employed by the company that he did not allow her to board due to her immodest manner of dress.

The driver, Yuval Avital, defines himself as religious, and was working on the route between Jerusalem and Kochav Yaakov, a national-religious community, when the incident occurred.

According to a report in Kikar Hashabbat, when the girl approached the bus, Avital refused to allow her to board, telling her, “You’re not getting on [dressed] like that.” The next day, as the girl got on the same bus, she asked the driver why he had refused to allow her to board the day before.

“You were wearing the shortest pants in the world,” he told her.

In his defense, the driver told the Court that he only asked the girl not to board, and when she complied, he understood that she did so in order to respect his beliefs as a religious man.

However, Justice Kochava Levy accepted the version of events provided by the girl, and added that a bus driver was not entitled to impose his personal views on travelers – he must only provide a service to them without discrimination.

The judge then ruled that Egged Ta’avura, which she claimed had tried to influence the proceedings, should compensate the girl to the sum of NIS 120,000.