Following last week's public storm resulting from the death of Ari Nesher and the large number of accidents involving electric bicycles, the Ministry of Transport today announced a new enforcement plan for these bicycles. Among other things, the plan includes approving fitness to ride bicycles, heavy fines for those increasing the speed of electric bicycles, and confiscation of bicycles for those under 16 caught driving them. Minister of Transport and Intelligence Yisrael Katz announced the measures at a meeting yesterday in his office. If the plan is approved, it will become effective in January 2019.
The Ministry of Transport said that the plan, which is aimed at stricter enforcement and punishment for electric bicycle riders, is designed to regulate bicycle riding and riders' safety, in addition to extensive public relations among the riders and their parents.
There are currently two categories of electric bicycle riders. The first includes people with licenses for two-wheel vehicles or private vehicles and students aged 16+ studying driving theory at school. Under the new plan, starting on January 1, 2019, these students will have to take a special short course including a final exam in order to obtain certification of fitness to ride bicycles. The Ministry of Transport National Road Safety Authority will arrange training for high school students.
As part of the plan, severe sanctions will be applied to riders of electric bicycles under 16: they will have to wait a year longer to obtain a driving license. In addition, anyone involved in changing the structure of electric bicycles or enabling them to travel faster than the maximum permitted speed of 25 kilometers per hour will be fined NIS 10,000.
The local authorities will be authorized to invalidate the business license of anyone selling or supplying illegal electric bicycles and to fine them NIS 10,000 per bicycle.
Fines for persons illegally riding electric bicycles or electric scooters will be increased significantly. This includes riding without a helmet, riders under age 16, making telephone calls while riding an electric bicycle, riding while wearing headphones, and other offenses.
Katz ordered examination of the possible consequences of putting license plates on electric bicycles to enable them to be identified. He also ordered consideration of ways of forcing electric bicycle riders to wear radiant protective vests and to use standardized lights for night riding. Katz ordered that the program be implemented in cooperation with Israel Police and the Ministry of Education.
Present at the meeting were Ministry of Transport director general Keren Terner, legal advisor Mali Sitton, chief scientist Shay Soffer, National Road Safety Authority director general Rachel Tevet, Ministry of Transport deputy director general Avner Flor, and other professional staff.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 4, 2018
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