On your next trip to Israel, consider renting a car so you can get around easily. But be aware that like any foreign country, the driving culture may be different from what you are used to back at home. Here are some tips and rules to make your driving-in-Israel experience run smoother.
Driving Rules and Tips
You may notice that the traffic light patterns are different in Israel. The red, yellow, and green have standard meanings, but the order in which you see them may not be what you are accustomed to. The order is as follows: The light is red, which means "stop." Then it is red and yellow together, which means "get ready to drive." You may already hear horns at this point, but you are only allowed to start driving once the light switches to green. After it is green for a short time, the green light will start to flash, indicating that it is time to think about slowing down, as the next (very quick) light will be yellow, and then red again.
Right of Way
Another thing about traffic lights is that whenever you have a green light, you do not need to wait for oncoming traffic before you can turn. You have the right of way. You may need to look out for pedestrians in some intersections, as they may also have the green light to walk, but you should be alert for pedestrians anyway whenever you're driving.
Finding Your Way
Driving in Israel comes with many pros and cons. One pro is that you can get around much more easily and quickly with a car. And one con is that you can easily get lost if you don't use a GPS like WAZE, which is why it is necessary to either rent a GPS with your car or install WAZE (by the way, created in Israel).
As in most Western countries, Israel has strict speed limits, but in kilometers. Here are the speed limits in Israel:
City driving – 50 kph
Highway – 80 kph
Highway with barrier – 90 kph
Highway 1 (Jerusalem-Tel Aviv road) – 100 kph
High-speed highway – 110-120 kph
No talking on, or even holding, a cellphone, even while stopped at a traffic light.
Turn on headlights in the winter months from November to March.
You can only rent a car if you are over 21.