Road Rule Changes To ‘Drive’ Most People Crazy
If you’re travelling (slowly) around Samoa, you will definitely come across this odd Road Rule Sign like this on the side of the road:
Hmm, it’s a bit unusual to remind the locals to keep to the left hand side of the road, they should be used to it. But that’s because Samoans used to drive on the right hand side until 2009! Driving on the right hand side was a legacy from German colonial times. Samoans had been driving on the right hand side of the road for more than a hundred years!
Anyway, back in 2009, the Samoan Road Rules literally changed overnight – where locals who were used to driving on the right hand side of the road, then had to relearn everything and learn to drive on the left hand side of the road.
Road Rule Change Reasons
The reason for this, was because Samoans could now import apparently cheaper right hand drive cars from Australia, New Zealand or Japan, and so that the large number of Samoans living in Australasia can drive on the same side of the road when they visit Samoa. Another reason was to reduce the reliance on expensive, left-hand drive imports from the United States.
But there was a major campaign initiated to reduce potential accidents: the government widened roads, added new road markings, erected signs and installed speed humps to prepare for the change.
That’s why when you visit, you will notice a lot of left hand drive vehicles driving on the left hand side of the road. That’s one thing I like about Samoa. There is no mucking around, they just go ahead and do things!
This monumental change is not a first for Samoa – they’re also able to change the time! They recently became the first country to see the day in instead of being the last, as the international date line was moved to the east of Samoa to be more in line with New Zealand and Australia.
More Road Rule Stuff
I’m guessing this Road Rule scenario didn’t appear in Driving Simulator & Road Rules – 2012 SimuRide Home Edition. Also, for more on Samoa, check out the Samoa Tourism Authority Website.