Tourist Tip #63 / Talking on the Phone While Driving

Stay on the right side of the law by ensuring you use a hands-free device when making calls on the go.

Driving while using a hand-held phone is illegal in Israel, and can land you with a NIS 1,000 fine.
If you need to make or answer a call while driving, you are allowed to use a hands free device, as long as your hands remain on the wheel for the duration of the call.

Even if you’re not making a call, it’s illegal to hold a phone while driving, and dexterous multitaskers should also be aware that it’s also against the law to send or receive text messages.

Although the law states that using a hand-held device is only an offense when the vehicle is in motion, stopping at a red light or being stuck in a traffic jam counts as well, so save the phone calls for a roadside coffee break.

In any case, holding long conversations while driving isn’t recommended, as studies have found that drivers who are engaged in conversation – with or without a hands free set – have reduced reaction times on par with drivers who’ve consumed alcohol.