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Old man in a car

March 12, 2010

Driving in Israel is a terrifying experience until the wanton recklessness becomes second nature. As the transition from panic stricken to jaded is not yet complete in my case, I still tend to notice every brush with death in the name of transportation — and they’re everywhere. In 2008, 75,000 people were injured in car accidents in Israel — in Tel Aviv, 30 out of every 1,000 people were injured. That’s insane.

Jaywalking is more of a big deal here than elsewhere, probably because the likelihood that the driver will notice a pedestrian and think about stopping is low. Just the other day, a woman across the street from where I was impatiently waiting for the light to turn green decided to risk it. She darted into the street, but was dumb enough not to notice a white car nearing the intersection.

Thankfully the driver stopped, and rather than shout, the very old man behind the wheel sternly furrowed his brow and heartily wagged his finger at her. I haven’t seen such a dignified reproach in quite some time.

old man reprimands jaywalker
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