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Thread: left-hand traffic

  1. #1
    Senior Member Frank van den Eeden's Avatar
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    Default left-hand traffic

    Traffic in the UK

    Left-hand driving (left-hand traffic) :
    is quite an adaptation when you are used to right-hand driving
    - but – it has some real advantages !

    1. priority from the right : when you are on the left side of the street, you are in a better position to see the traffic coming from the right.

    2. roundabouts : you go left around the roundabout (clockwise),
    priority from the right still prevails, all is very logic and goes smoothly.
    With right-hand driving you go right (anti-clockwise),
    but all of a sudden you get priority from the left - illogical!.

    sleeping policeman : speed bump
    roundabout : traffic circle.

    Ancient travellers on horseback generally rode on the left side of the road.
    As more people are right-handed, horsemen would hold the reins with their left hand and keep their right hand free – to offer in friendship to passing riders or to defend themselves with swords.
    Even the French revolution plays a role !
    Before the revolution the aristocracy travelled on the left side of the road, forcing the peasantry over to the right. After the storming of the Bastille, aristocrats preferred to keep a low profile and joined the peasants on the right.
    An official keep-right rule was introduced in Paris in 1794.
    Later, Napoleon’s conquests spread the new rightism to most of Europe.
    The countries that resisted Napoleon kept left.

    Sometimes right is wrong ...
    Last edited by Frank van den Eeden; 06-15-2008 at 08:46 AM.
    beste groeten - sincères salutations - kindest regards - atentamente - mit freundlichen Grüßen

  2. #2
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    Informative post Frank!!

    I've never driven on the left but it seems to me it would be a nightmare.

    The disadvantages to me as a driver would be in passing other autos headon, always being on the curbside of the street and driving clockwise in one of those circulos or roundabouts that are several lanes wide!!!

    When I was in the Navy they taught us to always walk to the right through passageways and up and down ladders in order to avoid chaos on a ship in an emergency. Instinctively, I still do that today. Our airports have a similar policy on the moving walkways and escalators. I would have a very hard time adjusting to the left.

    I wonder if the British Navy does the same on their ships or do they keep left in everything they do.

  3. #3
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    Really interesting...I guess that's why they have kept this custom, in spite of having all Europe the other way round!

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