Because of wasta and people who cheat on their driving exams, it never surprises me just how many people slip through the cracks in our country’s full proof system and are thus unaware of their constitutional rights as drivers in Jordan. The following are a list of rights every driver is constitutionally protected by. Please familiarize yourself with them.
One. There are no speed limits. Drive as fast as you want or possibly can until you see a red light and/or a police car in the area and/or a ticketing camera. Those are all agents of ‘the man’ and are out to ‘get you’.
Two. There is no right of way. If you’re on the road then your way is the right way, every other car will just have to stop and let you pass.
Three. Ten seconds before the red light turns green start honking your horn. This is a courtesy to legally blind drivers that might be anywhere in the area and don’t know the light is about to turn green. Their seeing eye dogs in the passenger seat next to them tend to be unhelpful in these situations.
Four. When entering a traffic circle please do so without slowing down. Those already in the circle will just have to wait. It is best to do this without turning your head to acknowledge their existence; especially useful if you are a large vehicle such as a bus.
Five. Always leave your high beams on so people approaching from the opposite direction can see you clearly at night.
Six. You can test out your car’s brakes by tailgating taxi drivers, most female drivers and old people. All these groups are likely to suddenly stop at any given moment.
Seven. Your left arm is a device used primarily to stick out the window to inform other drivers that you are an important person and they should make room for you. Your right arm is a device used primarily to hold up your cell phone as you drive, talk and change gears simultaneously.
Eight. All roads have been specially feng shui’ed to help you align your chakras and bring balance to your universe simply by aligning the middle of your car with those broken white lines on the asphalt that represent separate lanes (in some countries). Those who are behind you and are either flashing their high beams or honking their horns repeatedly are merely cheering you on towards enlightenment.
Nine. It’s always someone else’s fault. Always.
Ten. If a pedestrian is standing on the curb somewhere in the horizon and waiting to cross the street, speed up.
Eleven. Honk repeatedly if you have or know someone who has just gotten married, graduated, passed tawjihi, failed tawjihi, celebrating Eid, Christmas, Independence Day, Arab Land Day, a football, basketball or ping-pong ball game win or loss. Other constitutionally sanctioned occasions include seeing a woman walking or just because other people are also honking their horns.
Twelve. If you discover upon arriving at your destination that someone has already taken your predestined parking spot then park right next to him or her and box them in as punishment. This is called social responsibility.
Thirteen. Always keep your car clean. Throw all garbage out the window while driving at a high speed to ensure evaporation upon contact with the atmosphere, asphalt or the car behind you.
Fourteen. Remember that you live in a country where only the wealthy have access to music so feel free to turn your car stereo to a maximum and much appreciated volume. You will be hailed as a modern day Robin Hood.
Fifteen. Some drivers are VIPs and thus have more right to the road than others. The hierarchy begins with government cars, parliamentary cars, diplomatic cars, expensive looking cars, cars with a Saudi license plate, cars with an Iraqi license plate, a taxi (some have VIP stickers to remind you). If you do not find yourself in the above categories then your right to the road is assessed based on mathematical calculations: the smaller the number of your plate the more important you are.