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
In the meantime, let's hope I don't get another ticket....
Jerusalem Jaywalking traps: