In the photo: a 15-year-old rushes to school before the bell (photo: manufacturer's website)
About a decade and a half ago, there was an uproar in Israel, following a trend created in affluent communities in the center of the country: parents would buy 16-year-olds Tomkar vehicles, and they would come to school with them, and go out to hang out with friends.
Because of their definition in the law as a truck tractor, which is allowed to drive already at this young age, they could use it in a completely legal way, even if they did not go to help take care of the family farm.
Following a fatal accident in which a young woman who was driving such a vehicle, against the direction of traffic, was killed, the law was changed in Israel, and since then even to drive the small recreational vehicles a regular B license is needed, which can only be obtained from the age of 17. Even for urban electric vehicles, such as scooters and bicycles, Israeli law sets an age Minimum for riding: 16.
In the rich neighborhoods in Stockholm, even an old 5-series can replace a bicycle (photo: manufacturer's website)
In Europe, there are countries that allow even 14-year-olds to drive tiny vehicles, limited in size to only two people, and their speed up to 45 km/h. But there is one country that allows 15-year-olds to drive real cars. This is Sweden, and a loophole in the local traffic regulations. In the Scandinavian country, there is
a which is known as a "tractor license", which allows boys and girls of this age to drive a vehicle, with the condition being to limit its maximum speed to only 30 km/h.
Evelina Christiansen, a resident of Stockholm, said in an interview with the French news agency this week that she drives an old BMW 5-series, which she received for her birthday as a reward for her achievements at school.
"I usually use it when I go to school or meet up with friends," says Evelina.
Some of her friends come to school like this even in a Porsche Cayenne that is more than ten years old.
In modern cars, whose engines are computerized, there is no problem in limiting the maximum speed that the vehicle will reach.
Even so, some German car manufacturers limit certain models to 250 km/h. So in Sweden, the cars intended for "tractor" drivers undergo a stricter restriction.
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In Israel, 16-year-olds are forbidden to drive even in a Tomkar (Photo: Ziv Reinstein)
And there is another condition: the cars must be equipped with a tow hook, and a warning triangle permanently attached to the rear.
Nevertheless, they are supposed to haul agricultural equipment, and mark themselves as slow vehicles for other drivers.
There is also an obligation to dismantle the back seat, so that they can only carry two people.
This is a phenomenon of recent years, in which the number of "tractors" in Sweden doubled to 50 thousand, quite a lot for a country with a population that is only slightly larger than Israel, with 10.3 million inhabitants.
Originally, the installation was born in its current structure in the 1930s, when due to the economic crisis, farmers found it difficult to purchase tractors, and were granted concessions that allowed them to use old Ford Ts for farm work.
But the installation has surprisingly survived to this day, even though Sweden is considered one of the leading countries in the field of road safety.