Lebanon’s New Driving Law

Behold! Lebanon has a new driving law – and it stands at a whopping 197 pages! (check it here). Who knew our driving regulations were that developed?

I personally didn’t bother reading it because 1) I have no idea how it differs from the previous version and 2) no one will abide by it – not even our security forces who are supposed to enforce it. But I’ve linked it just because some of you are short on fun things to do.

When it comes to driving in this country, what’s on paper has nothing to do with what’s actually on our roads. When will our politicians realize that their attempts at regulating that are futile at best?

Driving in Lebanon will forever be as follows:

  • – You will use your left hand as indicator at all times. If you have a passenger with you in the car, his right hand will serve as your right indicator. This is non-disputable.
  • – There are no lanes. If the axis of your car isn’t alined with those dashed lines, you’re not doing it right.
  • – There are no maximum speed limits. You just keep going and going and going as long as traffic permits. If by some random chance you stumble on someone going at the speed limit, you will use your high beams to temporarily blind them.
  • – There are no minimum speed limits. You are allowed to text and whatsapp and tweet and update your Facebook status as you drive slower than a turtle on the left lane. No one is allowed to be annoyed by this.
  • – Red lights are for decorative purposes only. If you see someone waiting for it to go green, you will honk their ears off. It’s only appropriate – your time is golden and they’re wasting it.
  • – That pedestrian light is simply there to entertain you with its constant glowing. Green means go and red means go. Pedestrian gets squashed? Who cares.
  • – The pedestrian light is also there to entertain pedestrians. Whether it’s red or light holds no bearing on whether they should cross or not. The rule is as follows: look left. Look right. Read, set, go!
  • – Nothing comes between you and your favorite snack place. If it means triple parking in the middle of the road then so be it. You will park wherever you please, whenever you please. Unless there’s a politician passing by. Or the entire street is taken by valet parking. If someone dares to take your parking spot, bloodshed will be permitted. Refer to your favorite local militia for assistance.
  • – Your car being unsuitable for driving is no problem whatsoever. A renault 12 without doors, without a roof, without headlights and with an engine that almost dies every few minutes is the standard. If your car is better than that, it’ll pass.
  • – Think of road signs as year-long Christmas decorations. Some of them are ugly. Others are more creative. But they are all useless. Example: A one way street sign means this particular street is always two-ways. Always. The imbecile who put it there was not thinking straight.
  • – If by some random chance some policeman decides to hand you a $50 ticket, you will grab your $1000-worth smartphone and call your favorite politician or that policeman’s superior then hand the phone over. Once the policeman cowers away in terror and rips your ticket in tiny little pieces, you will leave the scene of the crime with your dignity intact.

And that’s how you do it. That new law can shove it.

David Letterman on Driving in Beirut

Don’t mind his guest, Justin Bieber.

“If you can drive in New York City, it’s like driving in Beirut. You’ll be just fine.”

And of course you have the torrential Lebanese commentators who are proud of driving like baboons in Lebanon.

 

Kunhadi’s New Year’s Eve Ads

For those who like to party hard on NYE and then drive back home, Lebanon’s NGO Kunhadi has an ad right for you – and it is simply great.

The campaign has two components: a video and a poster, both of which are making the viral rounds because of their very sincere message and the simplicity with which they were made.

The posters:

Kunhadi - NYE Poster

For non-Lebanese readers, the ad says: your parents are staying up on New Year’s Eve for you to come back. Don’t drink and drive.

The YouTube video to accompany this poster is:

You have to give it to Kunhadi. Their ads are always poignant and emotional. I also remember their Mother’s Day ad was brilliant as well.

And on another note, is it just me or is the Lebanese marketing scene becoming way more creative than it used to be? First there was the Lebanese Brew ad, then there was the Nadine Labaki Johnnie Walker one, followed by Fransabank and then MAD Beirut. 

But no matter… hopefully the message in this video comes across. And what’s more important is for those who are going to parties to be aware not to get into cars with drunk stubborn friends who refuse to take a cab.