Israeli Driving Set to Get Faster

When you take it to the limit, remember: speed is a relative concept; with this in mind, raising the speed limit on three of Israel's fastest highways is nothing.

So they raised the speed limit to 110, did they? Big deal. What it really means is that the limit is actually 121 kilometers per hour, when you take into account that drivers are legally permitted to exceed the speed limit by 10 percent.

So now you can drive 121 kilometers per hour on the coastal highway at 4 A.M. How did they not think of this before?

road - Itzik Ben-Malki - September 13 2010
Itzik Ben-Malki

Actually, they did think of it, but studies have shown that speed is dangerous. In other words, speed kills. To be more exact, it isn't speed that kills, but deranged drivers driving on shoddy roads who kill. Speed does not do anything. It is passive, no matter how paradoxical that sounds.

One should also remember that "speed" is a relative concept. If the maximum permitted by law on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway is 55 kilometers per hour, then a driver doing 80 will be considered a fighter jet pilot and a dangerous traffic offender.

As opposed to every other law on the books, the speed limit is an imaginary line that the state draws around its citizens so that they can remain caged within the country's norms. Once you have reformulated the norm and redrawn the lines, then a crime that could get your license suspended today is a norm tomorrow.

With this in mind, raising the speed limit on three of Israel's fastest highways is nothing. It is an act of charlatanism that won't make Israel's roads safer. It will not make Israel's drivers freer, nor will it reduce the number of traffic offenders police need to pursue. The real pilots - those shooting down the road at 180 kilometers per hour - will continue to tear up the highways and create a dangerous gap versus their law-abiding peers. This gap is what spawns the danger and inequality on the roads.