The Art of Unix Programming

Björn Lindberg d95-bli at nada.kth.se
Sat Feb 8 16:29:27 PST 2003


andrius at tamos.net (Andrius Ciziunas) writes:

> On Sat, 9 Feb 2003, [iso-8859-1] Björn Lindberg wrote:
> 
> > andrius at tamos.net (Andrius Ciziunas) writes:
> >
> > > 	lol!!....As for the voltage and frequency, I'm not sure...never
> > > heard why that's different....Nor do I know when the side of the road that
> > > gets driven one was changed by Americans (or was it changed by the
> > > Brits...)
> >
> > In Sweden we changed sides from driving on the left side to driving on
> > the right side as late as 1968.
> 
> 
> 	Wow....Cool....Learn something every day.  If you don't mind me
> asking, why the change?

I'm too young to know, but I found a site (in Swedish) which explains
it. Apparently, as early as 1718 it was stated that when meetin
someone, passing was to take place to the right side. :-) This was changed
in 1734 in favour of driving to the left. I don't know why this change
took place.

The desire to change to right side driving was for compatibility with
the continent, where most (if not all) countries were practicing right
side driving. Sweden actually had a referendum in 1955 where the
majority of the people voted for keeping the left side
driving. The switch was still finally made in 1963 (I was wrong about
1968, my mistake).

The switch itself was very cool though. All traffic were required to
stop 10-15 mins before 5 am on a sunday morning. After stopping you
were to switch to the right side. Then there were a countdown on the
radio, and at precisely 5 am you were allowed to continue driving on
the right side. There are photos showing streets with a lot of cars in
the middle of changing sides.

As for the British... they are way too stubborn to change I guess. :-)


Björn

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