PRI Valentine’s Day isn’t widely celebrated in Israel. But Israelis do write love notes year-round — and leave them on their cars.
They’re scribbled on scraps of paper and wedged in windows. Or, they’re typed out and propped up on dashboards. [...]
Since 2011, I have been taking pictures of what I call "Love Notes to Traffic Cops." So I showed Avraham some photos in my collection to see how he would respond to the notes if he were to see them on the job.
When a driver writes “I’m dropping off my kids at kindergarten, please don’t give me a ticket,” he doesn’t. Avraham said it’s not fair to ticket a parent when everyone’s dropping off kids and taking up all the parking spots.
But there are times, he said, when people try to pull rank, writing notes like, “I’m the pharmacist at such-and-such pharmacy.” Subtext: I’m important. Don’t give me a ticket. Avraham said he does.
Then there are the kinds of notes you can only find in Israel: Honorable cop, We are sitting shiva [mourning for someone who has died] at so-and-so’s house. Here’s the address. Please don’t give us a ticket.
“In a situation like this, we do not give a ticket,” Avraham said.
Every day, parking cops get a list of where families are observing the Jewish week of mourning, Avraham said. When parking spaces run out, and visitors park illegally, they don’t get ticketed.
So, there you have it. In Israel, you can, in fact, convince parking cops not to give you a ticket. But why are Israelis prone to negotiate their traffic violations?