Jerusalem traffic police have been ordered to refrain from writing tickets that would require an appearance in court, Channel 2 reported on Monday. The instructions came in light of an acute shortage in transportation judges in the capital’s traffic court.
The new policy means that there will be fewer tickets given for drunk driving and moving violations, other than in extreme, life-threatening cases.
There are currently “two-and-a-half” judges dealing with transportation violations in the capital, as opposed to the four or five that are meant to tackle the issue, Channel 2 reported. The shortage has led to extravagant waiting periods for court appearances, including some drivers recently getting summons for as late as 2017.
The heightened load on the traffic court also comes from an increase in traffic cameras in the city, part of a country-wide trend in recent years to improve law enforcement on the roads and reduce the number of accidents.
The spokesperson for the courts denied that there had been an order to the police to stop issuing tickets, but acknowledged that there was a problem processing the penalties being imposed.
“In light of the growth in activity of the electronic cameras and the extent of traffic tickets in recent years, a major burden has been placed on the court, requiring a rearrangement of the courts to deal with the large number of cases,” the spokesperson said. “The court system does not instruct the police on the matter of their work arrangements or the extent of the tickets issued.”
The Israel Police Traffic Department said that, “Considering the importance of reducing the number of casualties from traffic accidents,” it would “not provide for disruptions in the quality of enforcement and continue to regularly enforce the law for life-threatening offenses.”
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