For the first time, an Israeli court threw out several reckless driving indictments over concerns about the accuracy of the nationwide network of automated speed cameras employed by the police.
Earlier this year, a study by the Technion suggested the cameras were not as accurate as previously claimed by the government’s Standards Institute.
Hundreds of millions of shekels in fines and countless civil suits have been issued based on evidence garnered from the cameras in recent years. The new findings have sent police scrambling to make a final determination about the continued use of the network of cameras, including by inviting foreign experts for consultations.
Several weeks ago, the State Attorney’s Office instructed police that in the interim, until the question of the cameras’ accuracy is resolved, it will not be able to extract fines from drivers.
Against that backdrop, the Petah Tikva Traffic Court on Thursday canceled several speeding indictments against a driver, noting that the delay in determining the cameras’ accuracy and establishing a consistent policy for handling speeding violations detected by the network made it impossible to prosecute drivers.
“If there’s a problem, the police must address it, and not hold drivers in limbo while the issue is examined,” the judge ruled.
The driver had wisely elected to go to court rather than pay a fine of NIS 750 ($207).