Speed enforcement on the road (Photo: Reuven Castro)
The bee device indicated that Seat driver Leon Cupra was traveling at 215 km/h, which the court described as "madness", which should have led to the driver's license being revoked for a very long time. During the trial, however, the state was forced to agree to an embarrassing plea bargain: a NIS 600 fine and a two-month license disqualification, which was also offset by the administrative revocation.
According to the indictment, on July 9, 2022, at 10:14 a.m., the defendant was driving a Seat Cupra on Route 505 (Trans-Samaria Highway), from west to east. A police car equipped with a bee device traveling in the opposite lane, decided to "dress on it", made a U-turn, followed him at a speed of 175 km/h and caught him using the bee's radar driving at a speed of 215 km/h. In
light of the severity of the offense, the driver was detained and brought to the
Ariel police station. His car was taken from him and the court placed him under house arrest for 80 days.
Sorry the police don't store the car in a 5 star room... (Screenshot, screenshot)
In the first stage, the driver, through his lawyer Eran Damri, filed a request with the court to force the police to return the vehicle to him. At the hearing, Attorney Damari argued that the speeding offense is not one of the offenses that allows the seizure of a vehicle for forfeiture purposes.
In addition, he argued that even though it was a luxury vehicle with a very high monetary value, in which the applicant invested a lot of money, he turned it into a personal project, so that the maintenance of the vehicle violates his freedom of property. It was also noted that forfeited vehicles remain in the storage lots for a period of more than a year until the vehicle is sold, while being there causes damage: the paint fades, and the electrical systems cease to function at the end of the day. Surprisingly, despite the seriousness of the charges, the court accepted his arguments and ordered the vehicle to be returned to its owner, immediately and unconditionally.
Next, the state filed a request with the court to revoke the driver's license until the end of the proceedings. At a hearing on the application, the police representative argued that the officer who operated the bee acted exactly as required of him: he provided a detailed description of the driver and his vehicle, noting that the driver's vehicle differed from the other vehicles in the convoy in a conspicuous manner, due to its tinted windows on the driver's side and its red color.
The officer also noted that the location of the vehicle was the last in the convoy. In addition, he added that throughout all stages of enforcement, eye contact with the vehicle was maintained, from the moment he noticed the offense until the vehicle stopped. He said he measured speed only when the vehicle was lonely in its lane, detailing how many kilometers he noticed the offense, how far he followed him and where he stopped.
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Seat Leon Cupra model similar to the detained one (Photo: manufacturer's website)
But before we dive ahead, a little explanation of how the "Bee" device works. By transmitting a radio wave and receiving it back, the device samples the travel speed of the target vehicle. The frequency difference between the frequency transmitted from the device and the reflected frequency is translated by the device into the speed of the object (students of 5 units of physics or more will be familiar with it as the "Doppler effect").
As part of the operating procedures, it is explicitly stated that the operating officer must ensure that within a range of at least 50 meters on both sides of the road at the time of the measurement there was no movement of any vehicle of any type moving in the direction of travel of the measured vehicle, in which case it is not clear which of the vehicles was being measured at that moment. In addition, the operator is obligated to ensure that there are no railway tracks or an airport at the enforcement site so that the radio waves do not receive them.
However, during the interrogation of the policeman by Attorney Damri, it turned out that the policeman did not properly state the fact that he kept a distance of 50 meters: Q:
See where you mentioned that you kept 50 meters as written in the procedure on the side of the road when
the vehicle was isolated in the field?
A. If I didn't mention there wasn't. In the appendix I did mark it
Q. Show where you marked that you kept a range of 50 meters from the sides of the vehicle on the shoulder.
A. I said I got worse with the 50
Q. I'm telling you that you didn't get worse and it was a procedure to check 50
meters to the right of the shoal for a clean field of view and to the left of the shoal and in front of and behind it?
A. If there was anything out of the ordinary, I would write
that. So you didn't examine the 50 meters?
A. Repeats the answer. If I didn't write down there wasn't.
A photograph that could have been used as evidence, was not recorded and disappeared (screenshot, screenshot)
In addition, according to the regulations, the enforcement officer is obliged to specify in which number of kilometers on the road the enforcement was carried out. In the said case, the policeman stated that he carried out the enforcement at km 54. But his body camera shows him telling his superiors in a phone call that he caught the driver at Km 51, 52 downhill. Attorney Damari drew the court's attention to the fact that the route of the road where he was allegedly caught does not allow driving at a speed of 215 kilometers per hour,
but there was another problem in the policeman's report. He said he followed the Cupra for 5 km, with other drivers driving between the patrol car and the hot compact, the patrol car speeding at 175 km/h, and the tracked vehicle flying at 215 km/h. What does this say about the speed of the vehicles separating them?
The volunteer sitting next to the policeman noted another picture: he said he saw on the bee device how the speed of the copra continued to increase. "Then why didn't you stop him at 140, not 150, not 170, not 200 kilometers per hour?" Attorney Damari asked him. The defense attorney was also amazed at the officer's ability to drive at 175 kilometers per hour with the bee's operating remote control in his left hand, while having to lock the device on the vehicle, while driving at dangerous turns and bends - and without using a chase driver.
Attorney Eran Damri: "The truth has come out" (photo: courtesy of the subject)
Central District Traffic Court Judge Leah Schlesinger Shamai was persuaded and ruled that "there is a certain weakness in the evidence regarding the manner in which enforcement is carried out on the bee device, which in my opinion leads to an erosion of its quality," ruled and rejected the police's request to revoke the driver's license until the end of the proceedings.
Subsequently, the judge suggested that the parties reach an agreement. They agreed that the speeding offense in the indictment and the 10 mandatory points next to it would be changed to a much lighter offense of driving at an unreasonable speed, the points would be deleted, and the fine would not exceed NIS 600. The prosecutor agreed and the court accepted the lenient plea bargain.
215 km / h on the bee monitor, 600 NIS in court, logical doesn't it? (Photo: Israel Police Spokesperson's Office)
"The day after the enforcement was carried out, the Israel Police rushed to issue a spokesperson's statement about a 47-year-old driver caught at 215 kilometers per hour, published a photograph of the bee device and the vehicle being enforced after it was stopped, and claimed that it would bring him to justice. Only at the end of the day the wheel turned and the truth came out," concluded Attorney Damri.
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