A disproportionate number of vehicles impounded by police for traffic offenses this year were in the northern district of Israel, according to the Or Yarok road safety organization. The organization found that 40 percent of the 4,000 vehicles taken off the roads by police in the first five months of this year were in the north, far outnumbering the number in any other district, reports www.mynet.co.il. According to the report, 15% were in the southern district, 11% were in the central district, 10% were in the Sharon, and 7% were in the Shfela. Half the vehicles were taken off the roads because their drivers were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a further 16% were impounded because their drivers lacked valid licenses for the type of vehicle involved, and a further 10% were impounded because their drivers had suspended or cancelled licenses. The report said the law authorizing police to impound vehicles for traffic offenses became effective in May 2006, and since then more than 30,000 vehicles had been taken off the roads. An Or Yarok spokesman said studies in other countries showed that impounding vehicles was an effective tool in reducing the number of serious traffic offenses and in reducing the risk on the roads. "It is without a doubt one of the most important deterrents that police have in the stubborn battle against road accidents," the spokesman said. The report did not explain why the number of impounded vehicles was so great in the north.