Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Jaywalking In Jerusalem

18 of the Third Month 5769

This morning I found myself in line at the Israeli Police Traffic Unit in Jerusalem (Binyan Klal, 5th Floor, M - Th 8:00 - 12:00). It was the last day for me to pay a jaywalking ticket, before the fine went up. Some of you will think I am stupid for jaywalking. Some will say I am a sucker for not trying to get out of it. Some of you will think I am a sucker for paying the fine.

Well, I'll just say this. At the time, I tried to keep walking, but the traffic cop blocked my path. I couldn't play the "I don't understand Hebrew" card, which Americans are often told to play. One look at the aliyah date on my highly worn te'udath zehuth (ID card), and I'm toast!

I decided that honesty is the best policy, took the ticket, and now needed to pay the fine.

Generally, the fine can be paid at the Postal Bank. Unfortunately, the Postal Bank would not accept payment, as the ticket number was partially erased. There would not have been any way guarantee would actually make it out of electronic limbo into the right place to cover my "traffic violation." Thus, I ended up at the Traffic Unit, in order to find out what I needed to do.

The wait was only a half an hour, and the numbers were color-coded: Blue for tickets and fines, Red for accidents, Yellow for an Arabic-speaking officer.

"No problem," the clerk told me. She has ordered another ticket sent to me by registered mail, and has given me an additional 90 days to procrastinate to pay the original amount of the fine.

In the meantime, let's hope I don't get another ticket....


Jerusalem Jaywalking traps:

  • Yaffo and Shamgar Streets - the officer hides behind the building columns next to Bank HaPo'alim

  • Crossing Yaffo Street to and from the Central Bus Station.

    Mikeinmidwood said...

    I think I saw the one at yaffo.

    NG said...

    Yafo, walking east toward the shuk on the right side, at the corner with the "Best" car rental place. I was ticketed there a few years ago, but the officers let me off after I pretended not to know any Hebrew and looked like I was about to cry.

    I guess with the insane light rail nonsense, that corner isn't such a hot priority for the police anymore.

    Esser Agaroth said...

    NG, Yep. That's another one. I forgot about it, because of the light rail construction.

    Light rail nonsense?


    Yeah, they're building it inefficiently, mismanaging money, and building unnecessary phallic/middle finger bridges. But, I LOVE TRAINS, and it'll be good for the city in the long run.

    Miriam Woelke said...


    Some years ago, I was caught in King Goerge / Ben Yehudah. I paid 70 Shekels then. How much is it now ???

    NG said...

    Yeah, light rail nonsense. Since they're not building a light rail system to replace the entire bus system but only to replace a few bus routes, or parts of routes, it will actually help very few people. You are a dedicated user of public transport, so I'm sure you'll agree that the reason it takes so much longer is not that a bus goes twice as slowly as a car, but because it involves a lot of waiting. The waiting always comes when you're switching from one mode to another. The time saved by relatively faster trains that don't get delayed by traffic will be lost when people have to switch between light rail and bus instead of just taking one bus all the way to their destinations.

    I love trains too and, ceteris parabus, I'll always choose a train over a bus. But if it's walk-bus-walk or walk-bus-train-bus-walk to get to wherever I'm going, I think I'll go with the former.

    Esser Agaroth said...


    I'm with you when it comes to being against inefficiency.

    Esser Agaroth said...

    100 NIS, if paid on time.

    Batya said...

    I was caught after voting in the Likud Disengagement referendum or the primaries when crossing to the bus station. My head was numbed by the terrible noise. It cost me ns100.

    Blame the Likud!

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