Driving in Israel


The traffic and patience of drivers in Israel is really terrible. Therefore it is recommended you use other forms of transport if possible. The culture of driving is absolutely wild! However, renting a car is quite simple and easy and the distances between cities is short. Therefore traveling becomes easier. It is also quite cheap and easy to find parking for your car.

In Israel, the steering wheel and driver’s seat is situated on the left side of the car. Therefore traffic moves on the right side of the road and cars overtake on the left. If you are planning to rent a car in Israel, you must hold a valid driver’s license issued from your home country. It must incorporate a photograph. If not please carry your passport or any other form of Photo ID. There is absolutely no need to obtain an International Driver’s Permit in order to drive in Israel.

The traffic signs and road signs posted along the roads are usually in three languages, primarily Hebrew, English and Arab. However, most of the signs are quite poorly translated. Triangular signs are usually warning signs, circular signs give instructions and square signs give information and sometimes the distance in kilometers.

"t" (tonnes) is used to show maximum weight for heavy vehicles e.g. 8 t.
"m" (metres) is used to show maximum height e.g. 3 m.

Modern Hebrew "kilometer"

Always carry important documentation with you such as your driver’s license, vehicle registration, certificate of motor insurance along with your passport if there is no valid photo ID. If the car you are driving is not owned by you, it is safe to carry a letter from the owner stating permission to drive.

The roads in Israel are not that well maintained and many of the old roads have a lot of curves and turns. The lanes are quite narrow. However, the highways and bridges are in excellent condition as they have been built recently. The roads in Jerusalem are well maintained and the road conditions are improving in other major cities.

You must be careful of speeding, as there are speed cameras and radar traps located at frequent intervals that will issue a ticket to you if you are over the speed limit. The fines are heavy, so it is best if you stick to the speed limits. The national speed limit is 90kph in Israel. The speed limits might vary depending on where you are driving.

You must be at least 21 years of age to rent a car in Israel. Child restraint seats are required till the age of 4. There are no toll highways in Israel. Parking is illegal in zones that have blue and white lines on the side of the road. However, if you have a proper parking ticket you will be allowed. It is also recommended not to take your cars towards East Jerusalem. Theft and damage is not covered in this region.

If you keep these rules firmly in mind, you will be able to manage the traffic as well have a wonderful trip in Israel. Do not get carried away by the lawlessness. It is best to follow the rules and regulations wherever you travel.

Israel at the time of Christ

Roman Measurements

The Roman measures were the furlong or stade (stadium), the mile (mille passus), and the league (leuga).

  1. The stade consisted of 125 two-step paces or 625 Roman feet (185 metres or 606.9 modern feet) and was equal to one-eighth of a mile.
  2. The mile was 1000 two-step paces or 5,000 Roman feet (1,480 metres or 4,856 modern feet).
  3. The league was a distance walkable in 1 hour, about 1½ Roman miles. The English redefined it in the late 14th century as 3 miles. At sea it is defined as 3 nautical miles (where 1 nautical mile = 1,852 metres or about 6,080 feet). One knot is then one nautical mile per hour.

Biblical Mile (about 1 km) or 2,000 cubits is the distance walkable in 18 minutes.
The word appears in the Mishnah, a compendium of Jewish oral law compiled by Rabbi Judah the Prince in 189 CE. Originally, the 2,000 cubit Sabbath limit was measured with a standard 50-cubit rope.
Nearly two thousand years of Jewish exile from the Land of Israel have given rise to disputes over the precise length of the biblical mile observed by the ancients. Some hold the biblical mile to be 1 km 152 m, while others hold it to be 960 m, depending on the length they prescribe to each cubit.

The Persian word Parasa (Parsa) is equal to a distance walkable in 72 minutes, or 4 Biblical Miles (about 4 kms).

Click here to hear its pronunciation.

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