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Driving on the right

Driving on the right

Driving on the right

(OP)
Can someone enlighten me when the US & Canada changed from driving on the left to the right?  (I understand that the US changed some time after the French Revolution.)

RE: Driving on the right

After the revolutionary war the yanks eschued any thing English.  including eating with the fork, tines down and in the left hand; tea time and driving on the 'wrong' side of the road.  or so my great grand father claimed.

RE: Driving on the right

Very funny, ha ha [:(]

RE: Driving on the right

(OP)
Let me add that I understand that Napoleon precipitated the change along with many notable improvements (like street numbers).  Horse drawn traffic travelled on the left as proscribed by the Romans. But of course in pre-revolution France those in carriages were the aristocracy.  The poor travelled opposing the horse drawn traffic.  That is they travelled on the right so they could jump out of the way.

After the revolution changing the direction of traffic in some warped way indicated solidarity with the poor.  I imagine then the walkers had to change to the left!!  My understanding was that in general the countries conquered by Napoleon were changed by edict. (Thus Sweden kept to the left until 1969).

I have heard it said that the USA switched to the right in solidarity with France.  Is this true?  & when?  and what of Canada?

RE: Driving on the right

The story I heard, which admittedly is probably apocryphal and the product of an active imagination, also included Napoleon.  Prior to then generally people riding horses would ride on the left, because that allowed the normally right handed rider to use his sword on the side from which he would expect attack. Napoleon changed the rules in the countries he conquered to create confusion and disrupt transportation. Sweden and Norway and of course Britain (Australia, Japan ?) were not conquered so kept driving on the left. T was told this story before I came to North America, so I can only presume regarding historical driving patterns here.

RE: Driving on the right

At one time in Canada there was a political party called the Rhinoceros Party. They advocated a number of outlandish positions is the traditional Canadian satirical way.

One of these, a parody on our phased conversion to the metric system, was a phased conversion from driving on the right to driving on the left,

Trucks and buses first.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

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