Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Where right is wrong …

THERE have been calls in New Zealand for T-plates – that’s T for tourists – to be attached to hire cars driven by foreign holidaymakers, the worry being that they’re unfamiliar with the rules of the road in NZ and cause problems for the natives, who are. The main rule of the road in NZ is that cars drive on the left, which – as Americans in Britain will tell you – is often a challenge for drivers from right-hand countries. 

The T-plates idea is a good one, since the left-right difference is not an uncommon cause of accidents – some of them fatal – in the UK and across the Channel, where our European neighbours insist obstinately on driving on the wrong – or right – side. 

It’s often assumed that Britain is one of the very few left-hand drive countries on the planet. There are certainly more that drive on the right, but the UK is far from alone in sticking to the system that prevailed across Europe until a Russian czar and Napoleon had the silly idea of switching carriage traffic to the right.

The countries and territories that drive on the right number 165, but an impressive 75 stick to the left. Almost all of the latter were British territories, the exceptions being Canada and the US; although the US does have one territory that drives on the left: The United States Virgin Islands where, however, the cars are imported from the US and therefore left-hand drives. That must be fun.

India is obviously a major market for right-hand drive cars, but there other very big countries population-wise that drive on the left having never been a British Empire territory or a Commonwealth member: Indonesia (formerly a Dutch colony) and Japan do it, too.

Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.