A Conversation for Why the British Drive on the Left

We're not the only lefties

Post 1

Mahogany Twipet

What about Oz? What about N.Z. and several of the other commonwealth countries? The two mentioned have recent historical and, dare I say, certain cultural ties with the British. Fair go mate. This then goes a long way in explaining the left handed predilection of these countries. I think that Indian drivers are also left hand siders, although in actual fact they do pretty much whatever suits them. This commonly involves such as the transporting of a herd of goats, a mother in law and 20 kilos of mangos to or from the market, by moped.
Please forgive me if I am mistaken, but did Sweden not switch from left to right some decades ago, causing mayhem on the streets for months?
And what about Japan? They drive on the left AND manufacture an incredible number of cars, vans lorries and the like.
It seems to me that one of they real nuisances of the left/right-driving debate is not so much as to which is preferable - I live in Greece, am British, and am equally at home on either side of the road in vehicles with the wheel on either side of the car.
The bigger issue is that of exhaust placement, which relates to other discussions on this topic where many have pointed out that the British driving protocol was to a greater or lesser extent dictated by the manner in which the rider of his mount would hold his weapon, be it spear, whip, or some other tool (It is a well-known fact that right-handed gentlemen hang to the left!)
Vehicle manufacturers seem to locate the exhaust pipe of the vehicles that they design so that the fumes are directed to the centre of the road, rather than to the pavement. This is a logical and sensible idea, which in principle has nothing to do with any reduction of pollution, but a reduction of *noticeable* pollution monitored from the roadside. The unfortunate side effect is that VW and Pontiac cars smell worse in Britain than they do in Italy, and Toyotas, Nissans and TVRs; the opposite.

We're not the only lefties

Post 2

Trillian's child


Thank you for confirming Japan for me. I once said that Japan drove on the left and this was vehemently denied by German colleagues (who had been there!) My information was based on a photo of Tokyo I had seen in a calendar, so I shut up, thinking the photo could have been printed the wrong way round. I support your "argument" in the main conversation on this topic.

Do you have kids? (see my homespace)

We're not the only lefties

Post 3


I'm pretty sure the Thais drive on the left aswell (and they have roundabouts which is another ropic all together...)

We're not the only lefties

Post 4


[topic not ropic] smiley - smiley

We're not the only lefties

Post 5

James Ingram

...and since the Malays drive on the left, bein part of the Commonwealth, I hear this causes some distress at the border.

Which explains why Sweden switched not so long ago (see discussion somewhere above).

I heard that the English legislated to enforce driving on the left, and the French at once legislated to drive on the right, in a bid to keep us out. But it may have been the other way round.

We're not the only lefties

Post 6

Conan the Librarian

Maltese taxi drivers frequently tell thier UK passengers that whilst the British drive on the left and the French on the right, the Maltese drive in the shade! Officially Malta is on the right.

We're not the only lefties

Post 7

hikermike - guardian of the wa

Japan do indeed drive on the right. I can see them doing it now from my window.

We're not the only lefties

Post 8


Malta may be OFFICIALLY on the right, but the last time I looked, everybody drove on the left.

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