In border settlements and other towns and cities throughout the country, a security vehicle is used to patrol the area every day of the week, including Shabbat and the holidays. There is no doubt that this operation is permitted because it is necessary to prevent a mortal danger, but is every aspect of the routine allowed, no matter what route is taken? What happens when the driver wants to rest, or when drivers are replaced, and so on?
Even in this case of a possible life-threatening danger Shabbat desecration should be kept to a minimum as much as possible, since this is a routine operation.
The Shabbat setup for a patrol vehicle includes the following:
A special key replaces the standard ignition key, operating on the principle of gramma
(indirect action). Turning this key turns on the following switches in a fully automated sequence: the main switch, the starter (which is automatically turned off once the engine starts), and the driving lights.
(2) In addition to the regular controls, a series of gramma switches are also installed in the vehicle, to operate the searchlight, the windshield wipers, and the heat. (For emergency use, the regular switch for the searchlight is not disconnected on Shabbat, the gramma switch is added on as an additional one.)
(3) Moving the key to the off position turns the electrical systems off using a gramma mechanism.
(4) Before Shabbat, a special switch is moved to the "Shabbat" position, disconnecting the brake lights and the signal lights. The vehicle can operate without them.
(5) Finally, the main element, the driving, which is the most serious Shabbat violation (adding fuel to a flame): This is at a constant gasoline flow, without any need to press the accelerator. A throttle is ad
justed before Shabbat to give high engine revolutions. To move the vehicle, the gear is engaged and the steering wheel is used as usual. When necessary for security reasons, the accelerator can be used to move at a higher speed.
To arrange a meeting and discuss a detailed proposal, contact The Zomet Institute.