Israel's bus drivers to receive authority to inspect suspicious passengers
BySharon Udasin
17 August 2014 19:04
After acquiring certification, the drivers will be permitted to search the bodies, clothes, and luggage in the possession of suspicious passengers.
Bus Station

Central bus station in Jerusalem. (photo credit:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

In an effort to thwart terror activity on the country’s buses, the Transportation Ministry will soon begin certifying drivers to search suspicious passengers.

The country’s bus drivers will be enrolling in a special course teaching them how to prevent possible terrorism, with the first class beginning on Monday for Dan North operators, the ministry said.

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By launching such a course and authorizing the drivers to conduct inspections, the ministry said it aims to prevent incidents that could threaten public security.

Once the drivers have completed the course, their certificates will grant them the authority to perform body searches on passengers and hold them, if necessary, until a police officer arrives. The certificates will enable them to demand the identification of passengers, including name, address and official identity card, the ministry said.

After acquiring certification, the drivers will be permitted to search the bodies, clothes, luggage and any other goods in the possession of suspicious passengers.

The drivers will also be able to confiscate objects found during such searches that might threaten public security – including knives or other weapons, according to the ministry.

During the first seminar on Monday, the Dan North drivers will be required to undergo a short training session in self-defense, including physical exercises, the ministry said. At the seminar, they will study methods for identifying suspects, as well as learn how to handle explosives and suspicious objects. In addition, the drivers will receive training on the rights of, and obligations toward, passengers.

Dani Shenar, head of the ministry’s security department, has issued a circular to the managements of all public transportation companies, calling upon them to send their drivers for certification, the ministry said.

Supervision of the training is conducted by Shenar’s department, in conjunction with the Israel Police.

Regarding the program’s launch, Transportation Minister Israel Katz stressed that the course will allow drivers “to better cope with attempted terrorist attacks on public transportation and help prevent hostile individuals from harming the security of the public and passengers.”
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