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UK Citizens, Would You Like To Drive On The Right?  
User currently offlineF.pier From Italy, joined Aug 2000, 1523 posts, RR: 9
Posted (11 years 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3086 times:

Would you like that your government decides to change the driving way within a few years?

I think that driving on the left is quite "strange" for me, but I also think that you can have some benefit by the "change".

Cars would cost less, because cars manufacturers wouldn't be forced to make different cars, and the risk of accidents would be lower.

last week I went to Glasgow and I rented a car, but sincerely I was really disappointed and at a certain point I almost had an accident. Luckily everything went OK, and then I drove in the right way, but I sincerely think that it would be a good thing.

43 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDavid_itl From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 7363 posts, RR: 14
Reply 1, posted (11 years 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3070 times:
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Why can't Europe drive on the left instead?

David


User currently offlineRayPettit From United Kingdom, joined May 2002, 608 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (11 years 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3067 times:

As far as I am aware, the last time any country, certainly with any material number of cars, changed to drive on the right was Sweden around 1968. As I understand it all traffic accept fire engines, police cars and ambulances on emergency call were banned for a period of 24 hours

Now 35 years on, the number of cars on our roads has risen several fold. It would now be totally impractical to change. I think that Sweden renewed most of its buses back then (passengers would have otherwise had to board in the middle of the road!).

How many cars would have to be renewed in Britain? What about motorway junctions and flyovers - how would they work? Think of the number of signs. I could extend this list but I hope that you have realised by now that its a total non-starter. A non-starter on these grounds, nothing to do with the Britain being different. Back in the days when there were less cars and no motorways, it may have JUST been possible, but then very few people took their car abroad and the people back then probably did not see the need for it. Remember, Sweden did have a land border with Norway and Finnland who drove on the right, so their need was a little more justified. But they could not have changed with today's levels of cars and the motorway infrastructure.

Ray


User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8060 posts, RR: 54
Reply 3, posted (11 years 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3043 times:

No way! Why change it when we got it right the first time? Australians, Irish and others seem to agree with us as well.

Luxembourg is the one to avoid (this may have changed): three lanes. One lane in one direction. One lane for the other. Middle lane for overtaking. In both directions. Aaaaarrrgh!



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineBobrayner From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 2227 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (11 years 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3042 times:

Yes, the changeover would be a huge hassle...
However, it's a one-off hit.

Having all vehicles different to the rest of the world - as an ever-larger proportion of cars driven in the UK are made abroad, and vice versa - is an ongoing problem.

(which also gives car manufacturers an extra opportunity to charge extra in the UK)

If you're going to change which side of the road people drive on, I'd also like to see a change to metric signposts at the same time.  Smile
(Oh, and a change to priorities, and revised speed limits, and destroy all mini-roundabouts, and ban all the essex boy fiestas / saxos / rover 25s with bean-can exhausts and bodykit/alloys worth more than the car...)



Cunning linguist
User currently offlineDoorsToManual From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (11 years 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3026 times:

I come from a country that drives on the right, yet I have no trouble driving on the left whilst living here in the UK. I see no reason why the British should have to change sides; it really isn't necessary, or a problem, in my opinion.

User currently offlineArsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7792 posts, RR: 20
Reply 6, posted (11 years 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2989 times:
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A changeover would cause too much hassle, time, money and resources. Plus i see no need to drive on the right.




In Arsene we trust!!
User currently offlineMx5_boy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (11 years 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2965 times:

We drive to the left as does most of Asia. *Australia* - so I would say there quite a few of us lefties about. LOL

I believe the reason why the British and colonies drive on the left is to do with miliatary ettiquette. As in you always need to salute to your right.

AKA walk to the left of your commander so you can salute with your right.

Anyone care to confirm this?

Cheers,

mb


User currently offlinePaulc From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1490 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (11 years 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2962 times:

The cost would also be very high as roundabouts are designed to 'force' people to go in a clockwise direction around them.

As for metric signposts the majority of people still measure distance/weight/height etc with imperial units not metric despite the attempts by eu to get us to change. To change all the roadsigns would also be very expensive.

It would also be seen as another attempt by the eu to interfere in the UK.
Do people really have a problem when driving on the 'wrong' side of the road compared to at home. Driving in the usa is not a problem for tourists visiting although I think americans sometimes have a problem in the uk - mainly as most cars here are manual gearbox not auto.

Many nations stil drive on the left, Australia, Japan, India etc



English First, British Second, european Never!
User currently offlineUTA_flyinghigh From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 6495 posts, RR: 50
Reply 9, posted (11 years 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2944 times:

I just moved to DUB from CMF, and the major hassle is not driving on the other side of the road - it's having the steering wheel and gearshift at the opposite of what you're used to. Other than that, you get used to it quite quickly, so quickly in fact , when I came back for a few days because of the airshow at LBG, I started driving on the left side... Laugh out loud


Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (11 years 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2931 times:

MX5_boy, I believe it goes back a lot further than that. Driving on the left stems from the days of horsemanship, whereby most people had their sword in their right hand, and their shield in their left. Therefore, both in battle, and in jousting tournaments they would pass each other to the left.

The rest of Europe was the same, it was Napoleon who decided to change the roads to the other side, which is why, when he conquered it, the rest of Europe fell into line, and why Britain didn't.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineAndreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 31
Reply 11, posted (11 years 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2926 times:

AH, I see...it's all the French's mistake Big grin Big grin Big grin


I know it's only VfB but I like it!
User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 12, posted (11 years 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2927 times:

Funnily enough Andreas, it is! Big grin I'm not sure why the US went the same way, maybe because the British drive on the left and after independence they wanted to change, but yes, had Napoleon been stopped early on, continental Europe would probably still be on the left.

So, it's less France's fault, and more yours for letting the little general get away with it for so long.  Big grin



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineAndreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 31
Reply 13, posted (11 years 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2923 times:

Well, in last years WC, they did fly home after the first round, totally embarassing, even more so than England, ok, late, I agree, but in the end, we didn't let them get away with it  Nuts  Nuts  Nuts

...sort of...



I know it's only VfB but I like it!
User currently offlineHa763 From United States of America, joined Jan 2003, 3635 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (11 years 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 2916 times:
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I doubt that the side we in the US drive on has anything to do with our independence given that the automobile was introduced well after the US gained its independence. Actually, the US has always driven on the right-side of the road, but many of the first cars built in the US had drivers sitting in the right seat. This was so that the driver wouldn't exit the car into traffic. The driver seat was changed to the left side to reduce head on collisions.

Some pictures showing early US cars with right hand drivers:
http://www.aaca.org/autohistory/photohistory/pix01.html
http://www.aaca.org/autohistory/photohistory/pix03.html


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 15, posted (11 years 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 2914 times:

Ha763, roads existed before the introduction of the motor car. In towns and cities you would still have needed a system of priority with one cart on one side of the road and those coming in the other direction on the other. It seems reasonable to assume that the decision was made some time before cars were introduced, as it was in Europe. Cars were not exactly common when Napoleon was in power you know.  Big grin


She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineTeva From France, joined Jan 2001, 1871 posts, RR: 16
Reply 16, posted (11 years 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 2906 times:

Shhh.... Don't repeat it.... In continental Europe, we drive on the RIGHT side of the raod....
So..people driving differently drive on the WRONG side of the road...  Laugh out loud
Teva  Innocent



Ecoute les orgues, Elles jouent pour toi...C'est le requiem pour un con
User currently offlineSwissgabe From Switzerland, joined Jan 2000, 5266 posts, RR: 33
Reply 17, posted (11 years 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2894 times:

RayPettit
The last country which switched from left to right was Myanmar (former Burma) and I don't know if there is another former British colony driving on the right side.

Btw, does anyone know why Japan drives on the left side as well? Is it because the British influence in the 18th century?



Smooth as silk - Royal Orchid Service /// Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens - Springbok
User currently offlinePaulc From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1490 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (11 years 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2879 times:

Swissgabe,

how about the USA ?? it was a British colony until 1776  Smile - There is also Canada to consider



English First, British Second, european Never!
User currently offlineSwissgabe From Switzerland, joined Jan 2000, 5266 posts, RR: 33
Reply 19, posted (11 years 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2869 times:

Paulc
Well, didn't think about that. Thanks for the hint ... Did they always use to drive on the right in the US/Canada, why not on the left?



Smooth as silk - Royal Orchid Service /// Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens - Springbok
User currently offlineLeezyjet From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 4041 posts, RR: 53
Reply 20, posted (11 years 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2867 times:

I really don't have a problem driving on the "Wrong" side of the road when I'm in Europe or the US, as long as I'm driving a car that corresponds i.e. a left hand drive car when driving on the right.

Where I do have a problem is when I'm driving a RIGHT hand car on the RIGHT. Now that is scary when your driving along in the gutter and right next to parked cars, and forget about overtaking unless you are on a dual carrigeway. Junctions and Roundabouts are scary too -it's so easy to go onto the wrong side - you really have to concentrate then !!.

When I first started in the airline industry, I escorted an American couple that had just flown in by private jet to their hire car. The guy couldn't drive the thing as it was a manual so I had to go collect it for him, it was funny watching them kangaroo away down the road making a loud grinding noise !!. Poor car.

If they eventually start building drive-by-wire cars, then you will be able to just switch the controls from one side to the other so won't be as much of a problem.

 Smile

 Smile



"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
User currently offlineEGGD From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 12443 posts, RR: 35
Reply 21, posted (11 years 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2862 times:

Well, it makes more sense to drive on the left anyway. Because right hand drive cars suit right handed drivers more, and obviously there are more right handed people in the world than left  Smile. I don't mind driving on the left but obviously I prefer the right so I can drive a left hand drive car, just alot easier being a left hander ...  Big grin

User currently offlineSebolino From France, joined May 2001, 3681 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (11 years 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2854 times:

Well, it makes more sense to drive on the left anyway. Because right hand drive cars suit right handed drivers more, and obviously there are more right handed people in the world than left

Well EGGD, that's precisely the opposite. The gears on the right hand is in left-hand cars, which is better for right handers.


User currently offlineVafi88 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 3116 posts, RR: 17
Reply 23, posted (11 years 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2852 times:

What's the point, I think the UK built the system to their wants/needs, plus, don't fix what isn't broken...


I'd like to elect a president that has a Higher IQ than a retarted ant.
User currently offlineHa763 From United States of America, joined Jan 2003, 3635 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (11 years 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2803 times:
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Banco, I've seen prints of early New York City paintings that show horse-drawn carriages/wagons being pulled all over the streets in both directions. Here's a print that shows this: http://store4.yimg.com/I/photonewyork_1744_1745710

However, I've always seen pictures/paintings of trolleys travelling on the right side of the street, so this may be the reason we drive on the right.


25 Post contains images Airsicknessbag : Austria had their changeover in 1938 when she, well, "joined" the Greater German Empire. Fortunately, when Austria and Germany became separated again
26 Post contains images EGGD : Well EGGD, that's precisely the opposite. The gears on the right hand is in left-hand cars, which is better for right handers. Not at all!! Its usuall
27 Post contains images Cancidas : Are tourists who are not accustomed to driving on the left really that bad at it? I have only had the pleasure of visiting the UK once but never drove
28 Banco : Well, put it this way Cancidas, the British are the best drivers in Europe, in terms of the fact that they have the busiest roads in Europe, and the l
29 Racko : "they have the busiest roads in Europe" Are you sure about that? I would think that the central european countries with the transit traffic have far m
30 Banco : Pretty sure, Racko. Think about it, one of the most densely populated countries in the world, extremely high car ownership and usage levels (dire publ
31 Post contains images GKirk : Racko, use the M25 or M62 in the early morning rush hour then
32 Post contains links and images Bobrayner : Are you sure about that? I would think that the central european countries with the transit traffic have far more busy roads. http://www.google.com/se
33 Ben : I fly from the left hand seat (unlike lots of others here) so I have no problem changing from left-hand-drive to right-hand-drive. To everyone who th
34 Post contains images Hartsfieldboy : EGGD- The majority of the world is right-handed, that's why the majority of the world drives on the right. LHD cars are made for right-handers because
35 Bmistaff : Changing gear is so natural you don't have to think about it. Steering is way more important than changing gear. It is for that reason that the strong
36 Cptkrell : Well, some replies here touched on the ergonomic/mechanical relationship that was eventually standardized in the USA. Vehicle controls (ie: gearshift,
37 Banco : The thing is Cptkrell that all of your points about controls being on the right hand side are coincidence. It is not why Europe drives on the right -
38 Cptkrell : Hi, there, Banco. No, I was making a point that controls, like the gearshift, come up from the center of the vehicle...the most direct and least-linka
39 Alessandro : F.pier, Japan also drives on the left so if you live in the UK you can buy an used car from Japan that are RHD. I don´t think it´s a big issue for c
40 QANTASFOREVER : By the way. There is no such thing as a UK citizen, Brits are Subjects of Her Majesty. QANTASFOREVER
41 Docpepz : Indeed. Though a Singapore citizen now, both my parent's birth certificates state "The child is a British subject at the time of birth. " Alas we are
42 Banco : Not true, Qantasforever, we're British citizens, not subjects. It certainly used to be true, but not any longer, now we're both citizens and subjects
43 Cptkrell : Banco could be correct, but I still think maybe not. Anyway, it's something I'll look again at from a mechanical history perspective (why does the PIC
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