(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Dozens of roadside cameras monitoring driving speed and red-light violations
will be operational by the end of this month, and three-quarters of motorists
say they support the initiative even if it means stricter punishment for
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Late last month, the Transportation Ministry announced 44 of
the cameras would be be activated in late January. In addition to newly
installed digital cameras, those already placed at intersections have been
equipped to track speed and red-light violations.
Ultimately some 300
cameras are expected to be deployed across the country – 200 tracking speed and
the rest filming traffic lights.
Recent data from the Central Bureau of
Statistics show the most common cause of road accidents is failure to heed a red
light, while driving at an excessive speed is the most common cause of injury or
The new camera-based monitoring system will issue tickets
automatically for motorists driving at least 10 percent higher than the speed
limit. The fines will be stiff – for instance, driving 121 kph in a 90-kph area
would lead to a NIS 750 fine – and drivers who unsuccessfully appeal their
charges in court may see their fines increased.
The Finance Ministry
estimates the new cameras will generate hundreds of millions of shekels in fines
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The first phase of cameras will be spread through several
locations on Routes 4 and 2 (the old and new Coastal Highways respectively) as
well as on Route 65 in Wadi Ara and the Galilee and several other highways
Motorists using the mobile-phone application Waze will be
able to identify roadside cameras in real-time to know when to slow down and pay
extra attention to traffic lights.
Last year saw a 20-percent rise in
driver fatalities. A poll conducted this week by the Or Yarok organization and
the Institute for Geocartographic Research found that despite their concerns,
three-quarters of Israelis favor the new cameras.
According to Or Yarok,
studies show speed cameras reduce fatality-causing road accidents by
The organization’s director, Shmuel Abuav, said that “in order to
make speed cameras more efficient and effective in fighting traffic accidents,
they must be placed on more problematic roads and intersections.”
recommended that a commission be established to figure out the best locations
for the cameras.
“Additionally they should be visible and identifiable so
that they can deter and warn drivers not to violate the law,” he said. “Money
raised from fines should then be used to help combat road
Globes contributed to this report.
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