Israel Stories

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Vest

On the first of January, New Years Day as we sentimentally call, while the civilized world slept it off, and while the Scots were bracing themselves for day two of celebrations, a new law came into effect in Israel – the Yellow Vest Law.

As of the first all drivers are required to keep a florescent yellow vest in the car, to be worn in an emergency situation or breakdown on the highway. The reason is, as with cyclists, if you wear florescent yellow you are more visible to motorists and therefore less likely to be run over when you’re changing a tire on the highway.

I think you’re just a better target.

My fellow citizens have taken this law very seriously. Every time someone stops on the highway for any reason, on goes the jacket. People here stop at the roadside for a number of reasons, not just because their car has broken down. I’ve decided we should have a range of vests in different colors depending on the reason for stopping and leaving your vehicle.

The most common reason for leaving your car should require a pale yellow (unless you are dehydrated) or brown jacket. I think you may be able to guess that one.

Next is the green and blue with red and yellow stripes for map readers.

Then there is the white with black stripes for those who feel it necessary to stop and pray on the hard shoulder instead of doing so before they leave or when they arrive.

There is the vest with matching picnic set for Israelis that can’t wait to eat, the off-road 4X4 vest for those drivers looking for a gap in the fence to drive on the other side of the barrier and miss the traffic, the black and yellow stripped vest for the same drivers who drive down the hard shoulder in a traffic jam (possibly the most annoying thing on the road) and Orange, Blue and Red vests for political affiliation.

The worst thing of all is all the super cool people who hang their vests round the back of their seats. I don’t know why this annoys me but it does. I suppose they think their either street cleaners or police. In other words they are subject to abuse, are in a thankless job and are generally very unpopular.

My last word on the matter is I hope I never have to wear the yellow vest.

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