Religion Magazine

Proposed Law: Cancel CoronaVirus Fines

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
MK Yitzchak Pindrus (UTJ) has proposed a law that would cancel most of the fines given out for breaking the Corona guidelines of the past year. Pindrus is proposing this saying that the people have experienced a particularly difficult year and should not be turned into criminals at the same time. According to Behadrei, the other MKs to sign on the proposal were all Haredi MKs in addition to MK Shlomo Karhi of the Likud, which is surprising because the Likud controls the ministry that decided on the fines.
Pindrus would have the fines canceled for most issues, but it would not include fines given to people for breaking quarantine or people who regularly flouted the rules and received multiple fines. 
Pindrus explains in his proposal that frequently the laws were changed form moment to moment, at times with no advance warning and without enough publicity to let people know the new rules, with many new rules at all times and different rules in different places making it difficult for people to keep track. Additionally at times there were complaints of how the laws were enforced, selectively and harshly at times, with fines given in a way that left no room for appeal, children, etc.
Further, at times the fine was not given at the time of the infraction but was sent via mail, which didnt always function properly throughout the Corona year. At times people did not receive the fine yet in the mail before even finding out that they missed the pay date and a file had been opened on them with the fine doubled and interest added, etc
The purpose of the fine is to create deterrence and encourage people to follow the rules. Now, after the fact, with Corona in recession and most of the restrictions already removed, there is no reason to continue enforcing the fines that remain unpaid from the past year. As well, most fines were not paid and many are asking to appear in court to challenge their fines. This will put a heavy burden on the courts.
So as not to encourage people to break the laws, and so as not to reward people who broke the laws, the proposal for canceling the fines would only apply to the first fine of any type for a specific person - so if someone was fined 3 times for not wearing a mask outside, he would only get two fines (or maybe 1 as he also proposed certain infractions get the first two canceled). I dont know if this applies to people who made weddings or other large events against the rules, but presumably it does.source: Behadrei
I predicted a long time ago that they would try to get the fines officially canceled, so this is not surprising.
He says he doesnt want to "reward the sinner", but that is precisely what he is doing. Some people did not try to break the rules and were surely fined for minor things, mistakes, etc but many intentionally flouted the rules, refused to wear masks, made parties against the rules, etc.
He also does not want to encourage people to break the law, but canceling the fines does just that. Next time there is a situation requiring similar rules, another pandemic or whatever, people will already know they do not need to bother keeping the rules because fines will be canceled anyway. They will even use this as a precedent.
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