- Aug 25, 2009
The Ultimate Crossover: Samoa's plan to switch to left-hand traffic sparks motorist unrest [w/VIDEO]
Samoan traffic switches sides -- Click above to view the video after the jump
Samoa's prime minister has decided to do something for his constituents who want to buy cheap cars: swap driving from the right-hand side to the left-hand side. The reasoning behind the move is that Australia and New Zealand are Samoa's biggest trading partners, and driving in the same manner they do -- like the English -- will let Samoans buy cheaper cars from the antipodes. Intriguingly, the prime minister also said the switch will help Samoans avoid tsunamis.
It's not exactly a shock to find that more than a few Samoans aren't happy about it. A local attorney has formed a group called People Against Switching Sides, and he was able to get 30,000 petition signatures in a country with just 200,000 people. Samoa's roads are already dangerous, and his reasoning is that this will only mean more injured and killed citizenry, not to mention a huge bill.
The government wants to hear none of it, sticking to its September 7th changeover date and saying it will be a national holiday. If footage a bus full of people traveling the wrong way down a training road is any indication, though, our advice would be to stick to walking. You can watch a video on the reversing maneuver after the jump. Thanks for the tip, Reed!
[Source: Wall Street Journal]