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Do Most European Countries Drive on the Right-Hand Side of the Road?

Although most of the world now drives on the right-hand side of the road, there are still dozens of countries and territories that drive on the left, primarily in Asia, Africa, Oceania, and the West Indies. In Europe, the only major holdouts are the United Kingdom, Ireland, Malta, and Cyprus, which continue to drive on the left. Later this year, Sweden will celebrate the 50th anniversary of making the switch, as it joined neighbors Norway and Finland in driving on the right-hand side in 1967. The transition went fairly smoothly on Högertrafikomläggningen, or "H-Day." Most automobiles already on the road at the time were American-made vehicles with the steering wheel on the left.

When Swedes crossed the road:

  • H-Day (the “H” is for Högertrafik, Swedish for “right-hand traffic”) reversed a left-hand drive law that was officially recognized in 1916, as cars were becoming more common on the road.

  • The change took place at 5 a.m. on 3 September 1967. Drivers were required to come to a complete stop, then move to the right-hand side of the road and proceed.

  • Traffic planners had to switch out about 360,000 street signs across the country, reconfigure intersections, and relocate bus stops.

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Discuss this Article

anon997715
Post 3

India drives on the left hand side.

dimchild
Post 2

Nigeria did exactly the same in, I think, 1973.

anon997699
Post 1

I am one of your most assiduous readers.

Please consider presenting a list of countries driving on right-hand side and left-hand side of the road.

Thank you for your interesting daily info.

Federico F., Dominican Republic

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