If traffic starts seeming lighter than usual on the way into Jerusalem, it's no coincidence: the Transportation Ministry has launched a pilot aimed at speeding up traffic into the capital by forbidding the movement of trucks and other heavy vehicles on certain roads between 6:30 to 9:30 a.m.
According to a ministry statement, Route 1 into Jerusalem will be closed to vehicles weighing over 12 tons between Sha'ar Hagai and the Shoresh intersection. In addition, the Jerusalem-bound lanes on Route 3 between Latrun and Modiin, Route 375, which leads to Tzur Hadassa, and Route 431, between the Anava interchange and Modi'in, will also be closed to heavy vehicles in the morning.
During these hours trucks must use alternative routes, such as Route 443, or stop at special rest stops that have been set up for this purpose. From Tuesday, trucks will be forbidden to pass other vehicles on Route 443 at all hours of the day.
Drivers who don't obey the new directives will be NIS fined 500 and get six penalty points on their licenses.
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, said that the pilot will last six months, with an option of extending it indefinitely afterwards.