The Tel Aviv municipality today announced that starting on May 1, Israel Police will begin enforcing the law banning bicycle riding on sidewalks.
Before enforcement begins, the Tel Aviv municipality, the police, and the National Road Safety Authority will conduct a major public relations campaign, to begin this Sunday. The campaign will include billboards, a video clip, and green graffiti on sidewalks. During campaigns, explanations will be given by policemen, municipal inspector, and stewards, who will distribute information sheets about proper riding and enforcement measures to bicycle riders and pedestrians.
When enforcement begins after the Passover holiday, policemen will begin enforcing the law against riders of bicycles and electric bicycles riding on sidewalks instead of on marked bicycle paths. Enforcement measures will also be taken against severe violations, for which the fine will vary from NIS 100 to NIS 1,000, including going through a red light, riding in the wrong direction, using a mobile phone while riding, and disturbing pedestrians in crosswalks.
Punitive measures will include fines, taking the air out of bicycle tires, and confiscation of batteries (for children under 16 illegally riding electric bicycles).
Municipal inspectors will accompany policemen in order to study enforcement. At this stage, the legislation has not yet been completed, and the inspectors have no enforcement authority. After the Tel Aviv municipality repeatedly demanded in recent years effective national legislation on bicycle riding giving enforcement authority to municipal inspectors, the Ministry of Public Security is now promoting a bill in this area giving municipal inspectors authority to detain, issue tickets, and confiscate vehicles, including bicycles that endanger pedestrians.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said, "In recent years, we have been active and striving to encourage bicycle riding in the city as an alternative to the use of cars. This welcome change in travel culture has been accompanied by a new situation and insufferable phenomena, such as undisciplined riding of electric bicycles that endangers pedestrians, and it is therefore very important to deal with this and ensure the safety of pedestrians on sidewalks."
Israel Police Tel Aviv District Commander Moshe Edri said, "The police's actions, in cooperation with the Tel Aviv municipality and the National Road Safety Authority, to enforce legal and safe riding of electric bicycles is designed above all to protect public safety and human life, prevent damage to people and property, and to provide good service to everyone using the streets."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 17, 2016
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