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Compared with Egypt or Syria, Jordan is a very modernized country, driving in Jordan is a breeze. In general, traffic lights are always respected -except in the countryside where there's obviously nothing coming -as are most one-ways, although people do sometimes drive slowly the wrong way down a highway, searching for a place to U-turn Right-of-way on round- about goes to whoever's moving fastest.

Road surfaces are generally very good, although there are lots of unmarked speed bumps and rumble strips in unexpected places (including main high- ways). Look out also for drifting sand on roads in the desert if you're going too fast when you hit a patch of sand you can easily be spun off the road before you know what's happened Speed limits are posted regularly, and are generally 100 km on highways, dropping to 40kmh or so within towns, with a few police radar traps here and there Spot fines for speeding are in the order of JD5 Night driving is a little more scary, since it's common - if inexplicable -practice on dark country roads to flip to main beam when you see somebody coming, effectively dazzling them blind. In addition, slow-moving trucks and farm vehicles often chug along in the dark without lights to save on head- as light bulb usage. Most people flash their head- lights to say "get out of the way", but some do it to say "OK go ahead" -you must make up your own mind at the time which it is.

On major roads, directional signs are plentiful and when not plastered with old election: posters- informative; most have English as well as Arabic. A new series of large white-on-brown signs has been set up across the country specifically to direct tourists to major sites. On unsigned back roads, the only failsafe method of finding the right direction is to keep asking the locals. Although a normal driving license from home is good enough, an International Driving Permit can be useful, since it has an Arabic translation. Without a Jordanian driving license, you're only permitted behind the wheel of rental cars (yellow-on-green plates) and foreign registered vehicles; to drive the regular black-on- white-plated cars you must hold a local license

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