MK: Uphold law sentencing hit-and-run to 14 years

Yisrael Beytenu MK Matalon proposes bill to make it easier for drivers to find out how many points are on their licenses.

Hit-and-run accident ambulence_311 (photo credit: Uzi Barak )
Hit-and-run accident ambulence_311
(photo credit: Uzi Barak )
MK Moshe Matalon (Yisrael Beytenu) called on Sunday for the courts and the Transportation Ministry to enforce a law he passed increasing the punishment for hit-and-run drivers, following an incident in Netanya on Friday which killed three.
“As a legislator, I gave an outstanding tool and a lot of power to the courts to put hit-and-run criminals behind bars,” Matalon said. Instead, he said, courts and prosecutors choose to allow plea bargains.
“They are allowing the situation to worsen, the culture of violence to spread and crime to increase,” Matalon stated.
Matalon’s bill, which passed in November 2011, ranks hit-and-run incidents by their severity from negligence to manslaughter.
If the incident is declared manslaughter, the driver will be sentenced to 14 years in prison according to the new law, which doubled the previous punishment for a hit-and-run. The Yisrael Beytenu MK’s law also makes everyone in the hit-and-run driver’s car responsible for the crime.
Matalon proposed another bill in June which he hopes will reduce traffic accidents.
According to the legislation, the Transportation Ministry will be required to allow drivers to check online how many points they have on their licenses.
The MK, who initiated the bill in cooperation with Or Yarok (green light) Association for Safer Driving in Israel, hopes that drivers will be less reckless if they know they are close to having their licenses revoked or being otherwise punished.
Currently, drivers can call the Transportation Ministry to get the information.
“Since the service already exists today, there is no reason not to make it easier to use and more efficient, by putting it online,” Matalon explained.
Drivers with 12 points or more on their license must take a driving course in order to renew their licenses. Those with 24 points or more must take the course even if it is not time to renew their licenses. If drivers required to take the course do not do so within three months, they will lose their licenses.
“We support any effort that will contribute to the war on traffic accidents,” an Or Yarok spokesman said. “The government must ensure that information will be accessible, and every person can know how many points he or she has.”