The Transportation Ministry has shut down vehicle licensing institutions in
Eilat and Be’er Tuviya as a result of serious safety deficiencies in both units,
the ministry announced on Sunday.
The Southern Licensing Institute of
Eilat “blatantly and systematically” violated its licensing terms, and the Be’er
Tuviya Israel Institute passed a vehicle with 11 dangerous defects during a
routine inspection, a ministry statement said.
Avner Flor, senior
director at the ministry’s division of motor vehicles, has elected to close the
Southern Licensing Institute for seven days – from March 4 through 10 – and the
Israel Institute for six days – from March 3 through 8 – during which time the
facilities will have the opportunity to correct deficiencies before reopening,
the ministry said.
Some of the problems found in Eilat included the fact
that the periodic licensing exams given to tractors were being conducted outside
the walls of the institute, a situation that is in sharp contrast with the
provisions of the motor vehicles division, according to the ministry. In
addition, the Eilat facility was not making use of required air pollution
detection software, and many examiners were not wearing required identification.
One examiner – who lacked proper certification – went so far as to smoke during
an inspection of a diesel engine, the ministry said.
At Be’er Tuviya,
meanwhile, inspectors have been approving the operation of vehicles with
dangerous flaws. One vehicle passed with 11 defects, including steering issues,
a disconnected front rod, a torn driver’s seat, a broken fog lamp and a damaged
steering wheel, the ministry noted.
The Be’er Tuviya and Eilat facilities
join a number of vehicle testing institutes that have been temporarily closed
for such issues in recent years, joining others in Jerusalem, Holon, Ashdod and
Netanya. All in all, in 2012, the ministry’s department of vehicle and mobility
safety conducted more than 800 reviews in 60 vehicle examination centers
throughout the country.
In response to the latest closures,
Transportation Ministry director-general Uzi Yitzhaki said that his office will
not hesitate to shut down any testing institute that violates ministry licensing
procedures and regulations.