Israeli Roads and driving
Good-to-know facts about driving in Israel:
- Driving direction in Israel is similar to the European – on the right side of the road (driver on left hand side of the car).
- Many of the driving rules are similar to Europe.
- International driving license is valid in Israel, but you are not allowed to drive any vehicle without local insurance.
- The maximum speed allowed in urban areas is 60 km/h, intercity allowed speed is 80 km/h, and highways – 100 km/h.
Some highways allow 110-120 km/h speed and they are clearly signed.
- There are only two toll-roads in Israel: one is Cross-Israel (road no. 6) and the other is Carmel Tunnels. Both have toll-free alternatives.
- In many cities and few InterCitys there is a special yellow public transport rout – unless you are at least four legal passengers plus a driver, you are not allowed to drive on that lane.
- Driving while texting or holding your telephone is dangerous and prohibited!
A speaker (one that does not involve holding the device) is permitted.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is, of course, prohibited as well.
On Tuesday and Friday nights there are usually random alcohol testing officers waiting at major intersections and exits from cities (especially around the area of Tel Aviv).
- Israeli roads are quite easy for navigation thanks to an efficient road-numbering:
the horizontal roads (west-east) have even numbers and the vertical roads (north-south) have odd numbers. Low numbers are closer to west.
That way you can get an orientation which direction you need to turn. For example, if you ride road no. 1 from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, and you have to get off to road no. 4 south, you will have to turn right. If you are interested in getting north with road no. 4, you know you are expecting a 270 degree turn left from road no. 1 (the exit will be on your right).
Unique traffic laws:
- First of all, we recommend you to make sure you recognize and understand the Israeli traffic signs. It will help you in predicting the road and prevent violation of the laws.
Wikipedia gives a good indication about the Israeli road signs >>
- Green blinking traffic light means the light is about to change red. Slow down and do not try to overtake it.
- Amber blinking light means the traffic light is out of order, and you must obey other traffic signs (as stop sign or yield). If there are no signs, the facing traffic and the one to your right have the right of way.
- It is strictly forbidden to cross an unbroken white line, under any circumstances.
- U-turns are allowed as long as there is no No-U-turn sign. If you see a No-turn sign, this means that a U-turn is prohibited as well.
- Car lights must be turned on at all times during the day, morning and night, between November 1st and March 31st
- Security check: when entering a parking lot of a mall, marketing center or public building, you will be stopped by a security guy. He will ask you about any weapons (if you carry any with you, it must be declared and you must have a license for it), look in your trunk and great you farewell. It is a normal procedure.
- Careful when turning right – many times pedestrians have green light too and you must give the right of way.
- Red and white markings on curb stones indicate “No Stopping”.
- Blue and white markings on curb stones indicate “payment parking”. In big cities it is often limited by hours. In such case, look for a blue square sign – the limitations will be mentioned if they exist.
- Every vehicle must have a light-reflective vest. If you got stuck on the road, you must turn on emergency lights, wear the vest (in order to be seen by other cars) and carefully get out of the car to a safe place (preferably behind a solid segregation).
If your car is stuck inside a lane or in a way that risks the traffic – call immediately the police (dial 100 from any phone) and they will come to help you with the situation. Most important in such case – do no panic and do not risk yourself and others.