Driving in Israel is an experience that you won’t likely forget. Israeli drivers tend to drive like other drivers in Mediterranean countries – a bit fast. If you plan to rent a car in Israel from your hotel in Israel, then you should become familiar with the driving regulations of the country. Although it can be intimidating at first, driving in Israel is no harder than driving in any other country. If you prefer taking a taxi, however, your hotel in Israel receptionist can call you one in a matter of minutes.
Like in most Western countries, traffic flows on the right hand side of the road. Traffic signals tend to be lower in height than in North America, so it might take a couple of days to get accustomed to it. Yellow traffic lights usually don’t last more than a couple seconds. You’re warned that the light will change from green to yellow when the green light starts flashing. Right hand turns are not allowed on a red light; the light has to be either a green light or a green arrow. In addition, when you’re driving in the city, be careful of pedestrians as they have the right of way. Even if a pedestrian puts one foot into the crosswalk, you must stop your car.
Traffic signs are similar to other Western countries, as are the road markings. Highway signs are posted in Hebrew, English, and Arabic. Much like European countries, Israel loves its roundabouts (traffic circles) – just ask anyone at your hotel in Israel. The car in the roundabout has the right of way. When parking, make sure to park only on the blue and white or black and white curbs. Blue and white curbs require parking validation tickets that you can buy at automated parking tellers.
Between November and March, headlights are required 24/7. If you’re caught driving without your headlights on during those months, you will be ticketed. It’s also forbidden to talk on a cell phone in the car unless you have a special phone mount in the car and a speaker phone. Otherwise, it’s quite a hefty ticket if you get caught talking on a regular cell phone.
If you need more information, just ask your hotel receptionist as most hotels in Israel are familiar with Israeli driving.