Israeli driver training
Having possessed a car for much of the last 25 years, I’ve grown accustomed to the driving habits most Israelis have adopted – habits that have justifiably given us the reputation of being among the worst drivers in the world.
Driving around Jerusalem the other day, my wife and started joking about what we would do if we were given citizen’s rights to give traffic violations. We decided to keep track of the various infractions Israeli drivers are guilty of on a daily basis.
Within a couple minutes, we witnessed one driver speeding up as a traffic light turned red and barreling through the intersection. “That’s a license revoking offense,” I offered.
A couple streets later, a car over on the right shoulder had just evidently mistakenly passed a side street and was backing up against the traffic in order to turn right. I think that should prompt taking their license away and also impounding their car and forcing the driver to take an IQ test. It’s probably the most dangerous thing you can do on the road besides driving blindfolded.
“This is too easy,” my wife said, as we continued to witness one violation after another – cyclists weaving in and out of traffic, drivers making right turns from the left lanes, and someone blaring thumping trance music from their open window – itself a capital offense.
We thought we had seen everything, and had handed out probably 20 tickers during our imaginary shift. However, driving up the highway incline to our neighborhood, a station wagon passed us containing what looked like Palestinian laborers on their way home. A quick glance came up with nine passengers in a six-seat car, and these guys weren’t tiny.
We couldn’t help but laugh at the negligence around us, but one more sight topped it all. Across the median on the shoulder heading downhill, a taxi was pulled over to the side. The driver was standing around the front of the car, facing away from the road and urinating for all to see.
After all we had witnessed on that trip, it didn’t seem to be so bad at all.