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Driving In Israel Is Not For The Faint Of Heart

Discussion in 'News and Articles' started by jerusalemgifts, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. By Nicole Sivan

    Driving or riding in a motor vehicle in Israel is an experience much like choosing to ride a triple loop roller coaster for the first time. It is slightly exhilarating, a little scary, very fast, and could possibly lead to your demise.

    Israeli drivers put the pedal to the metal. And, just as they have zero patience for waiting in line at the ATM, the movie ticket counter, or anywhere else (prepare to use your elbows to maintain your place in the cue—“no cutsies” has no meaning here), they have zero tolerance for slow traffic and indecisive drivers. The appropriate stopping distance you leave between your car and the car in front of you is viewed by an Israeli as an invitation to switch lanes and claim the space. Israelis do not have a driving culture where you signal politely and wait for kind drivers to let you into their lane of traffic. You need to take what is yours and fight for a place on the road. Just close your eyes and switch lanes.
    Although I had a US driver’s license for over a decade, to receive an Israeli license I was required by the Department of Motor Vehicles to take three driving lessons and then a licensing test. Just as I had done when I was seventeen, on the day of my test I sat nervously at the starting line in a local parking lot as the driving tester got into my car. He took me out onto the pre-rush hour roadways and away we went. “Go straight, turn left, no not here, there!” Ahhhh. Suddenly we were on the highway. About one second before the next exit the tester screamed, “exit here!” I looked in my review mirror at the fast as a bullet moving traffic in the exit lane and told him, “No! I can’t get in.” We missed the exit. You see, such a lane changing feat would have been no problem for a native Israeli driver. If you have six feet of room you can fit. Just make sure you are moving at the same speed as the cars behind you, because those zooming down the passing lane won’t use their brakes. Despite my failure to follow the tester’s instructions, I passed my road test. The tester told me I could have my license because although I would never be an Israeli driver, at least I probably wouldn’t kill anyone either. Lack of intention to commit vehicular manslaughter was enough to secure me an Israeli license. Yeah!
    Read more at News from Jerusalem

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