The Israel Police Traffic Department was established in October 1997, together with a volunteer unit. Volunteers constitute an integral and essential part of the Traffic Department.
At the beginning, there were 340 volunteers. The number grew to 4,034 by the beginning of 2004, and is still growing.
The decision to set up a special volunteer unit for the National Traffic Department stemmed from the department’s need for these volunteers, and from the recognition that volunteers can make a substantial contribution to the department’s regular daily work. All police units are open to volunteers. The Traffic Department uses volunteers in two sectors: the urban sector, department offices, district and sub-district Police Traffic Department units; and the interurban sector.
Since volunteers are deployed throughout the entire country, from Rosh Pina in the north to Eilat in the south, any person wishing to volunteer can find a suitable framework for doing so. Telephone numbers for the regional officers in the volunteer unit for the Northern, Tel Aviv, Central, and Southern districts appear at the bottom of this page. Every regional volunteer unit has several branches. A volunteer living in northern Israel can decide whether he wants to contribute to the Rosh Pina branch or to the Zichron Ya’akov branch, depending upon his convenience and place of residence.
Volunteers performing certain duties are invested with a policeman’s authority. Before beginning his work, a volunteer must therefore undergo training in police work, particularly in traffic. The Traffic Department conducts special courses for volunteers, which train them for their duties. The first course, called “Stage A”, lasts 30 hours, consisting of 10 afternoon meetings of three hours each. At the end of this course, the volunteer receives a uniform, and is eligible to perform operational duties, with a police officer acting as his trainer. After six months, the volunteer receives further training, called “Stage B”, which also lasts 30 hours. After the volunteer completes this training, he is eligible to undertake operational duties, together with another volunteer who has been through Stage B. A volunteer who has passed Stage A is eligible to work with a policeman; two volunteers who have passed Stage B are eligible to work independently in a police car.
Volunteers are asked to work one full shift per month – one workday. Since most volunteers work for a living, this volunteer work takes place mostly on weekends, holidays, and at night. A check of Traffic Department volunteer unit police vehicles on those days and at those times will frequently reveal volunteers at work.
Volunteers who have finished Stage B training, and who have acquired expertise in fieldwork and been found suitable by their commanders, will be authorized and approved to write the same traffic tickets as any policeman. A volunteer writing a ticket signs the ticket book in the region where he works (one book for tickets with a court summons, and another book for tickets giving the option of a fine). After the tickets are registered, the volunteer turns in the ticket books.
The Traffic Department recognizes the importance of the volunteers’ work, and values and respects it. Volunteers increase available manpower in the interurban sector, boost the number of police cars and officers in the field, and bolster their public presence.
The volunteers active in the Traffic Department volunteer unit come from diverse social and professional backgrounds. In addition to traffic patrols, some also contribute as lecturers and instructors on relevant topics.
The following are telephone numbers of the Traffic Department police officers who are responsible for volunteers interested in joining traffic law enforcement units on interurban roads, according to district:
Police Superintendent for volunteers Yigal Bar-Yosef
Police Superintendent for volunteers Eldad Shaked
Tel Aviv District
Police Superintendent for volunteers Moshe Bar-Or
Police Superintendent for volunteers Pini Hagag
The National Traffic Department volunteer unit at Beit Dagan bears overall responsibility for volunteers.
Chief Superintendent Ronit Benach
Head of volunteers – Chief Inspector Ram Vilnai