Okinawa is one of few places to have changed from RHT to LHT in the late 20th century. These countries include Hong Kong, India, Brunei, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. Travel, on the other hand, is not. The change took place on the same day in the whole country, including the colonies. History of Left-Sided Traffic Portuguese colony until 1974. East Timor shares the island of Timor with Indonesia, which is also LHT, although the former (then Portuguese Timor) switched to RHT along with Portugal in 1928 before changing back to LHT in 1976 during the Indonesian occupation of East Timor. Other French former colonies that are RHT include Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Djibouti, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo. Switched to RHT with Portugal in 1928; under the. All of the countries formerly part of this colony border with former French RHT jurisdictions and have switched to RHT since decolonization. This includes England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Guernsey, Isle of Man, and Jersey. The survey indicated that RHD cars were 16% to 49% cheaper than their LHD counterparts. :p.12 ¶5.4 Some vehicles adjust the headlamps automatically when the car's GPS detects that the vehicle has moved from LHT to RHT and vice versa. Where the driver needs a good view of the nearside, e.g. In 1872, the British laid out the first railway line in the country.  At 05:50 local time, Monday 7 September, a radio announcement halted traffic, and an announcement at 6:00 ordered traffic to switch to LHT.  After months of preparation, the switch from right to left happened in an atmosphere of national celebration. According to National Geographic, this influenced a change in many countries: Canada, Italy, and Spain changed to right-side driving in the 1920s and most of Eastern Europe followed suit in … Horses are traditionally mounted from the left, and led from the left, with the reins in the right hand.  The conversion operation was known as 730 (Nana-San-Maru, which refers to the date of the changeover, 30 July). However, as the war progressed, in order to avoid being overrun by the Soviet Union combined with Fascist elements within the country, Romania adopted a pro-German dictatorship and became an ‘affiliate state’ of the Axis Powers. Island nation. Sign reminding motorists to drive on the left in Ireland. Examples include: Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Cambodia, Chile, Egypt, France, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Laos, Monaco, Myanmar, Nigeria, Peru, Portugal, Senegal, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tunisia, Venezuela, and Yemen. Known as "H Day," the switch actually wasn't as … Panama also switched sides. As you might imagine, this switch was anything but easy. Scholars who have looked for documentary evidence of this story have found none, and it should be assumed untrue unless contemporary sources surface. 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. Switched to RHT due to being surrounded by RHT former French colonies.  In LHT traffic keeps left, and cars usually have the steering wheel on the right (RHD – right hand drive), putting the driver on the side closer to the centre of the road. In Indonesia it is the reverse (RHT for rails (even for LRT systems) and LHT for roads). Although the majority drive on the right, there is no global standard driving system which causes some countries to require driving on the left. , RHT is used in 165 countries and territories, with the remaining 75 countries and territories using LHT.  Afghanistan was LHT until the 1950s, in line with neighbouring British India and later Pakistan.. Partitions of Poland belonging to the German Empire and the Russian Empire were RHT, while the former Austrian Partition changed in the 1920s. China is basically LHT for long-distance trains and RHT for metro systems. All of the countries formerly part of this colony border with former French RHT jurisdictions and have switched to RHT since decolonization. ", "2.1 "Keeping Left" – Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004 – New Zealand Legislation", "Russian Far East is still attached to Japanese cars", "Sierra Leone Bans Right-Hand Vehicles as Hazards", "違警罰法 (Act Governing the Punishment of Police Offences)", El día en que el Río de la Plata dejó de manejar por la izquierda, Google Maps placemarks of border crossings where traffic changes sides, The Extraordinary Street Railways of Asunción, Paraguay, Commercial Driver's License Information System, Dual carriageway / Divided highway / Expressway, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Left-_and_right-hand_traffic&oldid=992060599, Articles lacking reliable references from November 2020, Pages containing links to subscription-only content, Wikipedia pending changes protected pages, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from February 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2020, Articles lacking reliable references from February 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2018, Articles with failed verification from November 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Rome was reported by Goethe as LHT in the 1780s. One of the only two countries in continental America which are in LHT, the other being Suriname.  New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, changed to RHT in 1922, 1923, and 1924 respectively. In Cambodia, RHD cars, many of which were smuggled from Thailand, were banned from 2001, even though they accounted for 80% of vehicles in the country.. Where it is more convenient for the driver to be on the nearside, e.g. The following is a summary of countries who drive on the left. Mauritius also adheres to left-handed traffic. Most low-beam headlamps produce an asymmetrical light suitable for use on only one side of the road.  In 1908 Henry Ford standardised the Model T as LHD in RHT America, arguing that with RHD and RHT, the passenger was obliged to "get out on the street side and walk around the car" and that with steering from the left, the driver "is able to see even the wheels of the other car and easily avoids danger. LHT was introduced in British West Africa. 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. The Highway Act of 1835 made this law applicable in the British Empire. Switched to RHT being surrounded by neighbouring former French colonies. Caribbean island. The Takutu River Bridge (which links LHT Guyana and RHT Brazil) is the only border in the Americas where traffic changes sides. Part of British India until 1948. Boats are traditionally piloted from the starboard side to facilitate priority to the right. Why do countries drive on different sides of the road If you want to see a specific type of video (travel, a particular lets play or the geography stuff) check here: Despite it sharing land borders with two LHT countries, South Sudan has retained RHT. On Sunday, September 3, 1967, Sweden changed from driving on the left-hand side of the road to driving on the right. When it was governed by Japan, LHT was used, but the Chinese government switched the island to RHT in 1946, and this remains in place today. All are still LHT except Myanmar, which switched to RHT in 1970, although much of its infrastructure is still geared to LHT. Only three countries have switched to driving on the left; East Timor (as I explained above), Namibia (1918) and Samoa (2009). In RHT jurisdictions, vehicles are typically configured with LHD (Left Hand Drive), with the steering wheel on the left side. Here is a short story of how it came to happen.  In 2015, the ban on RHD vehicles was lifted; RHD trucks from neighbouring countries cost $1000 less than LHD models imported from Europe.. 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. The U.S. Virgin Islands also have left-sided traffic. This island nation was a British colony until 1976. In most countries, rail traffic travels on the same side as road traffic. , In the West Indies, colonies and territories drive on the same side as their parent countries, except for the United States Virgin Islands. Russia completely switched to RHT in the last days of the Tsars in February 1917. ", "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? One of the few non-British-colony LHT countries. Macau was under Portuguese rule until 1999. Vietnam became RHT as part of French Indochina, as did Laos and Cambodia. It signed the Tripartite Pact in November 1940.  The change included a three-day ban on alcohol sales, while police mounted dozens of checkpoints, warning drivers to drive slowly.. , One of the first references in England to requiring traffic direction was an order by the London Court of Aldermen in 1669, requiring a man to be posted on London Bridge to ensure that "all cartes going to keep on the one side and all cartes coming to keep on the other side". About 40% of vehicles in Georgia are RHD due to the low cost of used cars imported from Japan. Okinawa was RHT from June 24, 1945 to. Both want to switch to the left like their eastern, northern and southern neighbours. This island nation was a British colony before 1975. British colony until 1961. The remainder of Italy changed over in the 1920s after Benito Mussolini came to power; Austria and Czechoslovakia changed when Germany annexed or occupied them in late 1930s, and Hungary followed suit. Switched to the same side as its neighbours. You Can Drive Through Trees In California: Here's How, Countries That Have Left the European Union, Types Of Crimes By Number Of Offenses In The US, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.  New York formalized RHT in 1804, New Jersey in 1813, and Massachusetts in 1821. This has been the way for thousands of years - ever since Roman times, in fact. Several countries in Central and South America changed sides of the road over the last century. 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. Former British colony. 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. Former British protectorate. Switched to RHT in 1970. Change of traffic directions at the Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge, Media related to Right- and left-hand traffic at Wikimedia Commons, "Left Hand Drive" redirects here. These days, left-hand traffic remains the norm in Britain and many of its former colonies as well as in Japan, Indonesia, Thailand and several other nations. "Left-hand driving", on the other hand, is where the steering wheel is placed on the left side of the vehicle.  Newfoundland, then a British colony, changed to RHT in 1947, two years before joining Canada. Mainland China is RHT except the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau. Part of the British East Africa Protectorate until 1961. Although the United Kingdom is separated from Continental Europe by the English Channel, the level of cross-Channel traffic is very high; the Channel Tunnel alone carries 3.5 million vehicles per year by the Eurotunnel Shuttle between the UK and France. Parts of Romania that formerly belonged to. :p.13 ¶5.8.1 Some varieties of the projector-type headlamp can be fully adjusted to produce a proper LHT or RHT beam by shifting a lever or other movable element in or on the lamp assembly.
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