Free ride: No more traffic police ticket quotas

New police chief Danino announces "no more targets, instead, there will be quality enforcement.”

Traffic Ticket 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Traffic Ticket 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The era of traffic police using a quota system to issue driving-violation tickets is coming to an end.
Newly appointed Israel Police Insp.-Gen. Yochanan Danino on Wednesday announced an overhaul in the system used to issue tickets for traffic violations, saying the unpopular practice of assigning personal quotas for tickets to officers would be changing.
Under the old arrangement, traffic police officers were instructed to try and issue a minimum number of tickets, in line with a pre-determined quota.
Speaking during a ceremony in Jerusalem to mark the appointment of Cmdr. Bruno Stein as the head of the Traffic Police, Danino heralded “the start of a new period.”
“We must act with intelligence and wisdom. No more personal quota-based traffic tickets, no more targets.
Instead, there will be quality enforcement,” he said.
Numerous members of the public have criticized the old traffic-ticket system as being unfair, saying it encouraged officers to hand out tickets to meet quotas, rather than to enforce the law.
Danino said the police must work to ensure that it has the confidence of the general public.
“We draw our right to exist from the public,” Danino said.
He thanked the outgoing head of Traffic Police Cmdr.
Avi Ben Hemo, who will now head the Witness Protection Program, for his service.
Danino called on drivers to act “carefully and responsibly” on the roads, adding that he refused to accept the idea that the country’s high rate of traffic accidents was an unavoidable fate.
Also on Wednesday, Cmdr. Niso Shaham – who made headlines in 2006 when he was heard saying that anti-disengagement activists “should be burned” – took up his new role as Jerusalem’s police chief. Shaham has since distanced himself from his comments.
On Thursday, the new head of the Tel Aviv police district, Cmdr. Aharon Aksul, will be sworn in.
The former head of the Tel Aviv police, Cmdr. Shahar Ayalon, was appointed head of the Israel Fire and Rescue Service.