View Full Version : Samoa Switches Sides

Dark Helmet
7th September 09, 12:42 PM

After years of driving on one side of the road, Samoans are making the switch. The tiny Pacific island nation has become the latest country to change traffic patterns (the last was Ghana in 1974), but Samoa’s change-up is unique in that it is actually switching from right-hand traffic (used by 70 percent of the world’s nations) to left-hand traffic. Why? Supposedly to improve access to used vehicles from Australia and New Zealand. But as the Wall Street Journal reports, not everyone is happy with the switch. The People Against Switching Sides, or PASS campaign has held protests, villages have refused to change over and petitions have been signed. The problem with debates about traffic, though, is that compromise isn’t exactly an option.

Samoan's take to the street to protest the switching of sides. Even though most drive already right hand.


Drivers in Samoa in the South Pacific are preparing to switch from driving on the right side of the road to the left after a rule change by the government.

The move survived a late legal appeal by the protest group People Against Switching Sides (Pass), who have argued that it will cause chaos.

The government brought about the change to bring Samoa into line with other South Pacific nations.

It is the first country since the 1970s to bring about such a change.

The switchover is due to start at 0550 on Monday (1650GMT), when radio messages will broadcast telling drivers to stop and to prepare to overturn 100 years of motoring tradition.

At the top of the hour will follow a second instruction: to move from the right to the left side of the road.

Import driver

Critics of the plan claim it will bring mayhem to the highways and byways of this remote South Pacific nation.

Cars are going to crash, people are going to die - not to mention the huge expense to our country
Tole'afoa Solomona Toa'iloa
Samoa lawyer

Samoa drivers brace for left turn

Bus drivers have also protested that their doors will now open on the wrong side, in the middle of the road.

But the Samoan government introduced the change to end its reliance on expensive, left-hand drive imports from America.

It hopes that Samoan expatriates in Australia and New Zealand will now ship used, more affordable vehicles back to their homeland.

To minimise the chaos, a two-day national holiday has been declared to keep cars off the road, and prayers have been said at the country's churches in the hope of blessing the changeover.

7th September 09, 02:12 PM
Oh man, I didn't even think of the buses...that's going to end badly. Maybe it will end up like India or Egypt and people will drive wherever the hell they want and the horn will become a third language.

8th September 09, 12:26 AM
I'm glad I clicked on this thread. Hilarious but also a practical decision.

No one likes change but they will get used to it.

8th September 09, 12:52 AM
Ever been through a traffic circle on the border of a left driving country and a right driving country? It's like an Escher painting.

8th September 09, 12:56 AM
I wonder how this will affect DUI rates. Like, can you say "oh shit man, I totally forgot we drive on the other side now!" and be off the hook?

8th September 09, 02:46 AM
My guess why this is happening is because Australia is becoming the 'pacific superpower' that France the US used to be. American Samoa no more. What I mean is generally immigration in that neck of the pacific is to Australia and NZ, and disputes in those regions are (occasionally) mediated/intervened in by Australian police/military. Switching to more resemble the Australian/NZ model makes sense.

8th September 09, 02:48 AM
we still saved your asses in ww2

Toby Christensen
8th September 09, 02:53 AM
Be quiet Mega Jesus or I will have to set the local RSL club on you.

Besides WE had the "White Mouse" AND fought the Japanese back.

But no, you had to throw that in there.

I'm going to tie you to a roulette wheel in a Nicky Webster dress for that Mega.

8th September 09, 02:55 AM
As much as I love being tied up and dressed in women's clothing I will have to respectfully decline as I don't fuck cripples.

Toby Christensen
8th September 09, 02:59 AM
That's okay. I'll gag you with a tie soaked in alcohol first until you pass out. If you're not crippled by the START of the "game", you will be.

I don't fuck rent boys, rather they get fucked up.

8th September 09, 03:03 AM
I'm calling the cops.

8th September 09, 03:11 AM
and I want you to delete my nudes

Toby Christensen
8th September 09, 03:25 AM
Hey if you have an art collection on your computer that's your concern.

8th September 09, 03:26 AM
I never thought of calling it that, but do you think it would work on the police?

Toby Christensen
8th September 09, 03:37 AM
That's between you, them and your lawyer