California Autos Examiner

Monday, August 24, 2009

Driving on the right side of the road is overrated: Samoa decides to switch it up

It has the word Samoa in it, that's the only connection (source: fickr user Zellaby)

You wake up in the morning and suddenly everyone is driving on the "wrong" side of the road. Sound freaky? Well, that is exactly what is going to happen in Samoa on September 7th of this year.

Not since the 1970s has a nation boldly chosen to go where few dare to tread: Switching from one side of the road to the other.

The motivation behind a move that will undoubtedly cost lives and ruin the value of existing right-hand drive vehicles is the lure of cheap used cars from neighboring left-hand drive nations Australia and New Zealand.

There is a reason that few countries have chosen to change the direction of travel, it's a Sisyphean task to teach drivers new tricks.

Samoa has installed road humps to slow down traffic, erected signs and declared September 7 and 8 to be national holidays. My prediction? Epic fail. I only hope that lives will not be lost during the transition period, although I have a hard time imagining how Samoa will avoid the death of innocents.

For more info: Read the full story at the Wall Street Journal

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