Three languages on one road sign? As of today, new signs for intersections will have symbols instead of words.

Israel has three official languages – Hebrew, English and Arabic – and road signs must have all three or none. “The large number of words sometimes makes it hard for drivers to absorb the information,” says Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz – and he has now done something about it.

A directive has been sent to all local authorities explaining that as of today, all new signs alerting drivers to upcoming interchanges and junctions must have a symbol instead of the words “interchange” and “junction.”

Traffic Supervisor Alex Langer of the Transportation Ministry sent the directive. Existing signs need not be replaced, for now.

Minister Katz explained that the problem of wordiness on signs is becoming more acute with the rapid development of Israel’s highway network and increasing number of intersections.

The name of the intersection will continue to appear in all three languages, however.