[20] A referendum in 1955 overwhelmingly rejected a change to RHT, but a few years later the government ordered it, and it occurred on Sunday, 3 September 1967[21] at 5 am. [57] After months of preparation, the switch from right to left happened in an atmosphere of national celebration. [citation needed], In Italy it had been decreed in 1901 that each province define its own traffic code, including the handedness of traffic,[17] and the 1903 Baedeker guide reported that the rule of the road varied by region. In most countries rail traffic follows the handedness of the roads, although many of the countries that switched road traffic from LHT to RHT did not switch their trains. In specialised cases, the driver will sit on the nearside, or curbside. Both North Korea and South Korea switched to RHT in 1946 after liberation from Japanese colonial power. Most windscreen wipers are designed to clear the driver's side better and have a longer blade on the driver's side[78] and wipe up from the passenger side to the driver's side. ", "LAWS OF SOUTH SUDAN, ROAD TRAFFIC AND SAFETY BILL, 2012", "An Act Establishing the Law of the Road", "The day New Brunswick switched to driving on the right", "Change of Rule of Road in British Columbia 1920", "Week in History: Switching from the left was the right thing to do", Myanmar’s car market set to take new direction, "Manila Nostalgia: Dewey Boulevard during the Japanese occupation", "How the Philippines became a left-hand-drive country", "U-Turn for Okinawa: From Right-Hand Driving to Left; Extra Policemen Assigned", "Outcry as Samoa motorists prepare to drive on left", "Samoa provokes fury by switching sides of the road", "Samoan drivers change from right-hand side of the road to the left", "Decreto nº 18.323, de 24 de Julho de 1928", Panama Shifts To Right Handed Driving Of Cars, "Compilation of Foreign Motor Vehicle Import Requirements", "Burundi, Rwanda to start driving on the left", "The study of the possibility of switching driving side in Rwanda", Right-hand-drive vehicles return on Rwandan roads, "Govt okays importation of RHD trucks, to decide on other vehicle categories in October", "What Happens When Left-Hand Roads Meet Right-Hand Roads", "Hong Kong 2006 – Transport – Cross-Boundary Traffic", "Left-hand drive definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary", "Why Is One Wiper Blade Longer Than the Other? Gibraltar, which is British land off the end of Spain on the Med sea drives on the right - they told me they changed to match their neightbour Spain. [citation needed], Finland, formerly part of LHT Sweden, switched to RHT in 1858 as the Grand Duchy of Finland by Russian decree.[18]. [29][better source needed] The first keep-right law for driving in the United States was passed in 1792 and applied to the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike. Okinawa is one of few places to have changed from RHT to LHT in the late 20th century. The Portuguese Empire, then LHT, introduced LHT to Portuguese Mozambique and Portuguese Angola. Co-administrated under France and United Kingdom until 1980. The decision to move to the other side of the road was not taken lightly. British colony before 1974. Hong Kong was a British colony from 1841 to 1941 and from 1945 to 1997, when the colony was transferred to China. In 2009 for instance, Samoa became the first country for nearly 40 years to change its traffic side. Switched to RHT with Portugal in 1928; under the. The key here is separating the two sides of traffic, using a figure-eight shape. ↑ While on most lines right-hand side driving is used, there are some (mostly single-tracked) sections/stations where trains (because of tradition, local track or platform layout, service patterns or a combination of the above) run on the left. The Takutu River Bridge (which links LHT Guyana and RHT Brazil[75]) is the only border in the Americas where traffic changes sides. In Europe, headlamps approved for use on one side of the road must be adaptable to produce adequate illumination with controlled glare for temporarily driving on the other side of the road,[85]:p.13 ¶5.8. British colony until 1957. [59] The motor industry was also opposed, as 14,000 of Samoa's 18,000 vehicles were designed for RHT and the government refused to meet the cost of conversion. LHT was introduced by the Portuguese Empire in Portuguese Macau (now Macau) and Portuguese Timor (now East Timor). Dutch colony until 1975. The UK Overseas Territories in the West Indies keep left which are Anguilla, Turks and Caicos Islands, Montserrat, Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands. [44] Afghanistan was LHT until the 1950s, in line with neighbouring British India and later Pakistan.[45]. [57] The move was legislated in 2008 to allow Samoans to use cheaper right-hand drive (RHD) vehicles—which are better suited for left-hand traffic—imported from Australia, New Zealand or Japan, and to harmonise with other South Pacific nations. Australia and its territories (including Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, and Norfolk Island) all drive on the left. ↑Trams in El Cabo, DS, run on the left. This may be achieved by affixing masking strips or prismatic lenses to a part of the lens or by moving all or part of the headlamp optic so all or part of the beam is shifted or the asymmetrical portion is occluded. Famously, cars in the UK and Ireland drive on the left -hand side of the road, with the driver's seat situated in the right-hand section of the car. African countries have left-sided traffic including the former British colonies of Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia, Swaziland, Uganda, and Tanzania. Mozambique, having been colonized by the Portuguese, drives on the left even though its former European power switched to right-sided traffic in the 1920s. Back then, it made sense to drive on the left because most people were (and still are) right-handed. [25] Road building standards, for motorways in particular, allow asymmetrically designed road junctions, where merge and diverge lanes differ in length.[26]. Switched to same side as neighbours. [1], RHT is used in 165 countries and territories, with the remaining 75 countries and territories using LHT. It is theorized that left-handed traffic began in the days of horse travel. Left-hand traffic on the M25 motorway in the UK. These Pacific islands, including territories. [citation needed], In the European Union, vehicles must be equipped with one or two red rear fog lamps. It is believed that the tradition of driving on the left side of the road has its origins in the fact that a majority of the population is right-handed. Switched to RHT in 1970. Countries formerly part of the British Empire that drive on the left side include Saint Kitts and Nevis, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Saint Lucia, Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Grenada. vehicles from nearby Australia, New Zealand and Japan. This convention was preserved when the CCP took the mainland and the KMT retreated to Taiwan. Similarly, many of the countries that were a part of the French colonial empire adopted RHT. This Caribbean island nation was a British colony before 1967. The left-sided position but them at the advantage of having easy access to their sword with their right-handed in case of an enemy encounter. The history of driving on the left in Japan began during the Edo Period (1603-1867). Countries formerly part of the British Empire that drive on the left side include Saint Kitts and Nevis, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Saint Lucia, Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Grenada. Examples include: Generally, the convention is to mount a motorcycle on the left,[81] and kickstands are usually on the left[82] which makes it more convenient to mount on the safer kerbside[82] as is the case in LHT. Although the majority drive on the right, there is no global standard driving system which causes some countries to require driving on the left. As former French colonies, the provinces of Quebec and Ontario were always RHT. Rome was reported by Goethe as LHT in the 1780s. However, in many cases, railways were built using LHT British technology and, while road traffic switched to RHT, rail remained LHT. Other former Portuguese colonies in Africa including Portuguese Angola, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Cape Verde switched to RHT in 1928. These Caribbean island nations were British colonies before 1979. LHT was uniform in the 1930s, then the northern provinces were RHT. The Vienna Convention on Road Traffic regulates the use of foreign registered vehicles in the 78 countries that have ratified it. In LHT jurisdictions, the reverse is true. Historically there was less consistency in the relationship of the position of the driver to the handedness of traffic. British colony until 1965. Suriname, along with neighbouring Guyana, are the only two remaining LHT countries in South America. British colony until 1960. Switched to RHT being surrounded by neighbouring former French colonies. A political party, The People's Party, was formed by the group People Against Switching Sides (PASS) to try to protest against the change, with the latter launching a legal challenge,[58] and in April 2008 an estimated 18,000 people attended demonstrations against it. Most passenger vehicles are LHD. Post-World War II Okinawa was ruled by the United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands and was RHT. Rotterdam was LHT until 1917,[11] although the rest of the Netherlands was RHT. So people walking horses might use RHT, to keep the animals separated. Then, following a national countdown on the radio, at 5am on September 3rd, 1967, Swedish motorists switched from the left to the right-hand side of the road. Most low-beam headlamps produce an asymmetrical light suitable for use on only one side of the road. [34][35] New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, changed to RHT in 1922, 1923, and 1924 respectively. Such borders are mostly located in Africa and southern Asia. Under UK administration before 1960. Dagen H, the day Sweden switched sides of the road, 1967. By Joseph Kiprop on January 11 2019 in Society. [30] New York formalized RHT in 1804,[citation needed] New Jersey in 1813,[citation needed] and Massachusetts in 1821. Today, four countries in Europe continue to use LHT; they are all island nations: the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland (formerly part of the United Kingdom) and Cyprus and Malta (both former British colonies). LHT enacted in law in 1924. [citation needed] Although Portugal itself switched to RHT in 1928, Mozambique remained LHT as they have land borders with former British colonies. Of the 195 countries currently recognised by the United Nations, 141 use RHT and 54 use LHT on roads in general. 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[ 45 ] have looked for evidence. Colonies of Fiji, Pitcairn Islands, and might not match railways or roads in general in right. The foundation for left-sided driving in Japan began during the Edo Period ( 1603-1867 ),... 1945. [ 83 ] [ 84 ] 1986, 34 of the colonial. From 1920 to 1923 and Moldavia were already LHD times, in the traffic code changed... Canada which were still driving on the M25 motorway in the world require to. `` right-hand driving '', on the left ) and LHT for ). America and most European nations the province of British Columbia changed to right-hand traffic in,... And Norfolk island ) all drive on the right side in Georgia are RHD due to the occupation! On 1 October 1965 being surrounded by RHT former French RHT jurisdictions and have switched to RHT [... 1841 to 1941 and from 1945 to 1997, when the colony transferred! 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countries that have switched driving sides

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