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Samoan drivers switch to left side of road


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For some reason I get a kick out of the last line of the article.


Drivers braced for traffic chaos Monday as Samoa switched to driving on the left side of the road instead of the right.

Drivers in Samoa switched lanes Monday after the government there decided everyone must start driving on the left side of the road instead of the right.

The move is supposed to put the island nation more in line with its regional neighbours — Australia and New Zealand.

There are at least 7,000 Samoans living in New Zealand and another 30,000 in Australia. The government hopes they will send their smaller fuel-efficient, right-hand drive cars to relatives in Samoa, thereby precluding the need to buy big American gas guzzler cars that are typically left-hand drive.

But the switch has been highly criticized by some residents, including Georgina Newton, who runs a car rental company on the island.

"My main concern really is it's unnecessary," she told CBC. "We're on an island. We don't have to conform to any other nearby states.

"I'm concerned about the safety issue. I think we'll get the hang of it in two years' time. There will probably be quite a few serious accidents in the meantime."

A public holiday was declared in Samoa on Monday, closing schools and offices to allow people to deal with potential traffic chaos. Nightclubs will also be closed all week.

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