Samoans revolt against driving on the left, may drive in the middle instead?

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Samoans revolt against driving on the left, may drive in the middle instead?

More than a century of motoring history is being overturned in the Pacific Island nation of Samoa. Samoans have always driven on the right side of the road like their neighbours in American Samoa, but in two weeks they are going to switch to driving on the left.

This entirely sensible move has created furor in the tiny island nation. To help the change there is a two day holiday where drivers will presumably transition by driving in the middle.

The revolt over Samoa's road switch has begun, with villagers taking to the streets to redirect new road arrows and remove signs directing drivers to "keep left".

Unrest is brewing over a bold move by the Government in Apia to change the flow of traffic to the left side of the road to bring Samoa into line with Australia and New Zealand.

The change is just two weeks away but officials are facing a backlash.

Villagers in the town of Laulii have authorities fuming after they altered the new directional arrows on the road by painting them so they pointed the wrong way.
... Quote:
Road workers had painted the lines on without the end points of the arrows and some locals have come out and added them on, but the wrong way. You can imagine how angry the authorities are.
said Mataafa Keni Lesa, editor of the Samoa Observer newspaper.

Others disgruntled at the move have removed more than a dozen road signs that reminded drivers to keep left from September 7.

The newspaper has been reporting a mood of increasing dissatisfaction over the switch, which is the brainchild of Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, who hopes it will encourage relatives living abroad to send cars home to Samoa.

But opponents, including the action group People Against Switching Sides (Pass), argue the move is costly, pointless and being carried out with little co-ordination or consultation.

Pass still hopes to halt the switch by proceeding with a case in the Supreme Court to prove it is unconstitutional.

An Australian engineering expert, Professor Thomas Triggs of Monash University, told the court on Thursday that he predicted more accidents and road deaths if the change went ahead.

He feared for pedestrians, who were very likely to forget which direction to look when crossing the road.

 http://www.nzherald.co.nz/w...
By netchicken: posted on 23-8-2009








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