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«Almost like in Europe»: the police in tel Aviv are hunting for cyclists on bicycles

In tel Aviv, a pilot project was started: several groups of police on bicycles entrusted with the control over the observance of traffic rules by cyclists. Fining cyclists from September this year will be able and municipal inspectors.

Group of police cyclists in control of the situation, mainly in the city centre and on the waterfront. Police officers on bicycles able to catch up and stop offenders who often try to hide from foot patrols and police cars.

The head of the police Department to work with the Russian media, major Michael Zingerman explained in the editorial that after «break-in» project in tel Aviv units of the bike over time, it is planned to create in the patrol services at each of the city police Department. He added that the police are in patrol, which will also monitor other violations of law.

The most frequent violation for which a fine is imposed now, is riding a bike on the sidewalk if there are no dedicated paths for cyclists. The first arrest for such a violation, the cyclist receives a minimum fine of 100 shekels (if the violator has a driver’s license, in this situation, at first, the police can give a warning; if the offender is aggressive and gets in an argument with police, even for a first offense the penalty can be increased).

About 100 thousand residents and guests of tel Aviv move around the city on bicycles, approximately every fifth of them – on the bike. Also popular scooters with electric motor.

Citizens who regularly use a Bicycle to travel to tel Aviv, already complain that police sometimes fined, not understanding the situation – for example, when the cyclist drives off the roadway onto the sidewalk to «Park» your vehicle.

There are also complaints that in some situations, the municipal inspectors are asking cyclists to leave the roadway to the sidewalk, and then the police say that «pakahi» just don’t know the new rules of the road, and prescribe a penalty for the violation. Police officers also say that even if the city of tel Aviv is to take the Bylaw to allow driving on the sidewalk, the police will follow General traffic rules.

Under the new rules, a cyclist in the city can go only on the roadway (maximum of hugging the right edge of the right number) or on a special bike path. In the case that along the street there is a bike lane, the cyclist is obliged to ride on it (this rule is not respected by many, the editorial has not yet received reports of prescribing penalties for such violation).

In many parts of Central tel Aviv Bicycle paths is not (as in other cities), and the traffic is very dense. However, the new rules categorically require that the cyclist was traveling on the roadway. This creates problems for the movement of public and private transport, and also makes it extremely dangerous Biking on city streets.

In the Israeli group of bike lovers in social media discussed the possibility of holding protests in tel Aviv due to the tightening of control over the observance of traffic rules and the lack of town infrastructure for Cycling.

Note that strict control of compliance with traffic rules by cyclists are characteristic of a number of European cities where Cycling is very popular. But the introduction of such control was preceded by the laying of convenient paths that allow to reach any part of the city.

A few months ago, we published statistics on Cycling accidents in Israel, according to police and Control security on the roads. Most «bike accidents» recorded in tel Aviv-Jaffa, where the most environmentally friendly form of transport considerably more popular than in other cities of Israel. Here in 2013-2016 occurred 333 road accidents with conventional bicycles (five dead, 63 injured) and 216 accidents with bikes (one dead, 35 with serious injuries) – many times more than any other city in Israel. Stricter traffic rules and fines for riding on sidewalks can lead to a sharp rise in the number of accidents, many cyclists are not prepared to drive on the roadway.

Bicycle accidents often occur due to carelessness and careless driving (all road users) due to the large difference in speed of vehicles due to the lack of Bicycle rear lighting (although the number of accidents in the light and dark hours are about equal), due to poor technical condition of the bike and also due to the fact that cyclists ride on the roadway, even on those streets where there are designated and marked lanes for Cycling. In this case, the perpetrators of accidents are almost always recognized as drivers of cars or motorcycles.

Cyclists celebrate that special tracks for this popular mode of transport is not enough – including in tel Aviv. Often these tracks were laid down so that it is difficult to go (they rested in a bus stop, pedestrian crossings without special stripes, etc.).

Traffic regulations require that the cyclist was traveling as close as possible to the right edge of the roadway (and not just in the right lane, as many mistakenly believe). But in practice this rule is difficult to follow because of the parked cars and driving off.

Severe or fatal injuries received by cyclists in accidents, often due to the fact that the rules do not prohibit passage of a cyclist through the city streets without protective helmets (rider must wear a helmet only when riding outside the city).

Fines for traffic violations by cyclists

It should be noted that no final clarity on the situation with fines. The municipality of tel Aviv has published information about this, which causes a reasonable doubt by the police.

For example, in a press release, hall was told that the fine for driving through a pedestrian area, if the street has a bike lane, will range from 100 to 250 shekels. In the absence of a bike lane on a street where traffic is limited to a speed of 30 km/h, electropherotypes must follow on the roadway, the report says the tel Aviv municipality.

Since almost everywhere in tel Aviv, the vehicle can travel with a speed to 50 km/h, it can be assumed that on such streets, the bicyclist can go on the sidewalk. But police say that’s not so, and fined for a similar drive.

One of the most serious violations is considered to be talking on a cell phone while Cycling. The penalty for this violation is 1,000 shekels. You should pay attention to the fact that they can be fined even for the fact that the man on the phone stood, but sitting on the bike seat.

For interference with pedestrians on the sidewalk will be a fine of 250 shekels.

Also cyclists will be punished for using headphones while riding, for passage through the crosswalk, not having the proper markings for bicycles.

To order to teach will not only cyclists, but also pedestrians. For example, the penalty for the pass on the bike path is 500 shekels.

Recommend to readers who use bikes to get acquainted with the rules of the road for cyclists and the technical requirements for this type of transport.

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«Almost like in Europe»: the police in tel Aviv are hunting for cyclists on bicycles 13.06.2017

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