The remote South Pacific island of Samoa is to change the side of the road it drives on, from right to left.
The decision has been made by Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele, for what he calls, economic reasons. “The timing is right for us,” he said. “I drove in the middle of London where the cars criss cross all the time and it took me only three minutes and I knew how to manoeuvre.” He justifies the switch by claiming Samoans can buy their cars cheaper in Australia and New Zealand, where they drive on the left. A spokeswoman for PASS, the People Against Switching Sides, believes changing the side of the road for motorists is full of risks. “We have not had a coherent, logical explanation for the switch,” said Paplil Viopapa-Annadale. “I think the economic arguments surely cannot be balanced against the risk to people’s lives” Hundreds of people have recently demonstrated against the move, some vandalizing “Keep Left” signs. Samoans have been driving on the right side of the road for about a century, since the short-lived German occupation of the island at the beginning of the 20th century.