Citing a rise in cyclists, accidents and crowds, Israel Police are beginning to enforce the previously ignored laws on the books for cyclists.

Noam (Dabul) Dvir 05.01.16

Starting on Sunday, the Israel Police will be enforcing laws prohibiting bicyclists travelling on sidewalks, with offenders being fined NIS 250.

This law has long been on the books, but it has not been de facto enforced. However, the increase of bicycles on the sidewalks, accidents, and crowds has caused the police to act. It is not yet known how many teams will be assigned to enforcement and with what regularity the fines will be given.

In addition, the police will be enforcing other related laws, the flouting of which can cost from NIS 100 to 1,000: inter alia, riding through a red light, riding against the flow of traffic, using a mobile phone while riding, and obstructing pedestrians at a crossing.

In addition to the fines, the police will be authorized to enact other punishments, such as releasing air from bicycle tires or confiscating an electric bicycle’s battery (for children under the age of 16 who are riding one, which is prohibited by law).

Inspectors from the Tel Aviv Municipality will shadow police officers to learn about enforcement, but, at this stage, despite earlier promises to the contrary, they will not yet be authorized to enforce the law on their own. The Ministry of Public Security is currently pushing through a bill on the matter that seeks to enable municipal inspectors to detain, write tickets and confiscate vehicles, including bicycles, that endanger pedestrians.

According to the Tel Aviv Municipality, 16.1% of commutes to work, school or the army in the city are by bicycle, versus 10.6% in 2012. These data are based on a November 2014 survey by the Center for Socio-Economic Research. Since 2000, 130 km of bicycle paths have been paved, and this year a further 30 million shekels have been budgeted for the continuation of establishing a bicycling infrastructure.

Cyclists have claimed the city lacks sufficiently advanced cycling lanes, and have deemed its decision to fine cyclists an easy out, especially with the danger that cyclists face on the roads. On Friday, some 400 bicyclists took part in a group ride protesting the future fines.,7340,L-4797827,00.html