Yesterday in Bethlehem, I asked our guide about child seat use.  He is a resident of Bethlehem and has a small baby.  It sounded like child seat use was not all that common, though they are readily available.  He was considering buying one for his baby but found the prices very high, about the equivalent of US $100 for a Chicco model he had been considering.  Most babies ride on their mother’s lap from what I understood.

That said, the driving didn’t seem to be as crazy, either in the West Bank or in Israel.  People generally were not whizzing past everyone else in a great hurry.  I haven’t observed a crash yet, something that seems almost daily sometimes in our suburban area.  The roads are dominated by small and midzise sedans.  There are some wagons, small SUVs and short wheelbase minivans.  I have seen two small pickups (used on the grounds at tourist sites) and no large SUVs at all.  Aside from that, you see mostly buses and full size vans for tours and deliveries.  Not a trace of 18-wheelers and fewer large commercial trucks than you might expect.  The vehicle fleet seemed relatively modern also, perhaps even more than what I see in the Chicago area.

Our guide in Bethlehem, Elias, was great.  The whole experience was awesome and very much worth the time and effort of the border crossing into Palestine and back.  I highly recommend him if you ever travel there.  We were paired with him through Fred at Tours In English in Jerusalem, but his own company is Grace Tours located in Bethlehem.   I left him a nice tip for his amazing service, including his way with crowds to get us some very nice photos.   I hope he buys a nice convertible child seat for their baby!