Embedded within Lebanon‘s intricate cultural tapestry are a set of traffic rules that defy convention and delightfully perplex both residents and newcomers.
With honking symphonies and enigmatic road signs, these are some uniquely Lebanese traffic rules that you’ll find nowhere else.
Honking as a Form of Communication
In Lebanon, honking isn’t just about expressing frustration – it’s a full-blown language. From saying “hello” to notifying another driver that you’re passing, honks convey an intricate array of messages that only the initiated truly comprehend.
Parking: A Game of Tetris
Forget conventional parking practices – in Lebanon, parking is an art form that requires a unique blend of geometry, creativity, and determination. Vehicles squeezed into seemingly impossible spaces make parking a true spectacle.
Zebra Crossings as “Optional” Stops
While zebra crossings elsewhere signal a pedestrian’s right of way, in Lebanon they’re more like vague suggestions. Here, vehicles and pedestrians negotiate a complex dance, often involving a mix of hesitation and negotiation.
Traffic Lights as Mere Suggestions
In Lebanon, traffic lights are sometimes interpreted as loose guidelines rather than strict commands. The sight of drivers gingerly inching across a red light or confidently sailing through an amber one is an everyday occurrence.
Using the Horn: A Precautionary Measure
Honking isn’t just for expressing impatience; it’s a preemptive safety measure. From alerting fellow drivers around a corner to announcing your presence in dense traffic, honking is an integral part of defensive driving.
The “No-Space” Overtake
The narrow roads of Lebanon don’t deter drivers from overtaking slower vehicles. It’s not uncommon to see cars squeezing into what appears to be nonexistent gaps, much to the amazement of bystanders.
Pedestrian Crossings: A Test of Agility
Pedestrian crossings are a test of agility as pedestrians dart across lanes while vehicles navigate around them. The rule here seems to be “cross at your own risk” as pedestrians and drivers engage in an unspoken negotiation.
Navigating Lebanon’s streets is like participating in a uniquely choreographed symphony of movement and communication.
These unconventional traffic rules are emblematic of the nation’s charm, where road etiquette is a blend of innovation, adaptability, and perhaps a dash of audacity.