Samoa scheduled to shift from right to left

I’m always up for a good story that brings to light the reasons for an accepted activity that we take for granted.

And this week’s news out of Samoa, of all places, that drivers there will be switching to the left-hand side of the road (in an attempt to allow more rural drivers access to the used vehicles in “nearby” Australia and New Zealand with steering wheels on the right side) brought this issue into the news cycle for the first time in over 30 years.

Nigeria, Gahan and Yemen switched the flow of traffic in the 1970s and Iceland and Sweden did the same in the 1960s.  Since those days, no country has made a similar switch.

Of course, all of this raises the question “Why Don’t We All Drive on the Same Side of the Road?”, answered in most interesting fashion at

Most of the world (about two-thirds) does drive on the right-hand side of the road and the Time article references historical figures as diverse as Napoleon and Henry Ford in explaining the origins of these societal norms.

As for Samoa, Sept. 7 and 8 have been declared national holidays to help people get used to the new driving regulations.  If nothing else, body shops there should expect some steady work in the months ahead.

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~ by acm213 on September 5, 2009.

One Response to “Samoa scheduled to shift from right to left”

  1. Samoa is the first country in 40 years to switch driving sides

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