The automated system for enforcement of public transportation lanes that has been deployed in the Greater Tel Aviv metropolitan area over the past two years is now exposed to the same risk as the A3 traffic speed system. Transportation sector experts believe that its reliability requires testing.
The system, designed by the Gatso company, is actually identical to the A3 system, whose reliability is now in doubt. Control of the system is exercised not by the police, but by the municipalities and authorities in whose jurisdiction the system is installed under an amendment to the Economic Arrangements Law that makes it possible to send revenue from fines to the municipal treasury. 25 such cameras have been installed to date, mainly along the Ayalon Highway and the coastal highway.
Earlier this week, Israel's Channel 2 news reported that Israel Police had stopped issuing tickets from all speed cameras around the country after the Technion, Institute of Technology cast doubts on the accuracy of the cameras.
Reports by the Tel Aviv municipality recently viewed by "Globes" for the first time show that during the running in and trial period for the system, which began in March 2017, it generated NIS 1 million in fines for the municipality. According to the new municipal budget, the municipality expects the system to generate NIS 20 million through an average of 140 traffic tickets per working day.
The public transport lanes automated enforcement project is one of the leading projects of the Ministry of Transport, which is paying for part of the NIS 600,000 cost of stationing and maintaining the cameras in the metropolitan area. According to the Ministry of Transport's plans, hundreds of such automated cameras will be deployed in many public transportation lanes throughout Israel, some of which are being readied now.
The cameras selected for enforcement of public transportation lanes are the usual traffic speed and traffic light cameras; they were not designed by the manufacturer for public transportation lanes. The Ministry of Transport selected the cameras in order to avoid the delay that would be caused by a new procurement tender and a special installing process. The cameras are therefore based on a standard of the Standards Institution of Israel for A3 cameras that are currently the subject of a court appeal.
A check by "Globes" revealed that in the past two weeks alone, in the midst of discussions between the police and the State Attorney about the suspension of issuing traffic tickets generated by A3 cameras, no fewer than four new camera poles were installed at a cost of hundreds of thousands of shekels per unit. One camera was installed in late May on Highway 1 going west in the direction of the road from Maalei Adumim and another was installed on Highway 4 southward at Pardesiya Junction. A camera was installed in early June on Highway 40 near Hatzav and the fourth was installed on Highway 38 near HaEla Junction. Some of these cameras are also being used to detect cars running red lights.
The police today notified Knesset Economic Affairs Committee chairperson MK Eitan Cabel (Zionist Union) that an urgent meeting had been scheduled with the State Attorney to discuss traffic tickets generated by traffic speed cameras in accordance with Cabel's request yesterday.
Cabel said today that he had been notified by Police Superintendent Dina Yemincha on behalf of the head of the traffic department that an urgent meeting with the State Attorney had been scheduled because the police were unable to decide on this matter by itself. He demanded that the police complete its handling of the matter in a week, saying, "I asked what all the people who received tickets and had not yet paid for them were doing. It cannot wait. It is the kind of thing that requires immediate handling."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 12, 2018
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