The Brexiteer’s Guide to the World #2: Driving on the Left

There is nothing the Brexiteer likes more than the comfort of home but, should he/she be forced to venture abroad it is essential to make sure that as many of those familiar home comforts can be found replicated overseas.

Driving on the left-hand side of the road

Driving overseas can be a treacherous business at the best of times, made all the more difficult by many countries insistence on driving on the right/wrong side of the road.  Thankfully, there are still a surprisingly large number of lefties left.

Where is it safe to drive?

Unless under the influence of too much alcohol, or possessed of either a perversely obstinate independence or very poor sightedness, drivers in the United Kingdom drive on the left-hand side of the road; this includes the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, although not Sark, which is car-free.

Elsewhere in Europe, it is tough to find many fellow road-compatriots, although islands tend to provide the most fruitful hunting grounds: Ireland; Malta; and Cyprus.

Similarly, it is on islands across the globe where it is most often possible to drive on the left, without let or hindrance, or a head-on collision.

In the Atlantic: Ascension; Bermuda; Falkland Islands; St Helena; South Georgia; South Sandwich; and Tristan da Cunha.

In the Caribbean: Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Bahamas; Barbados; British Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; Dominica; Grenada; Jamaica; Montserrat; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos; and US Virgin Islands.

In the Indian Ocean: Maldives; and Seychelles.

And in Oceania: Australia; Christmas Island; Cocos Islands; Cook Islands; Fiji; Kiribati; Nauru; New Zealand; Niue; Norfolk Island; Papua New Guinea; Pitcairn; Solomon Islands; Samoa; Tokelau; Tonga; and Tuvalu.

In Asia, it is possible to put the foot to the pedal and record some serious mileage on a bigger continent.  Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, East Timor, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand all offer safe havens for those who prefer their steering wheel on the right-hand side of the car.

In South America, opportunities for exploration are geographically curtailed to Guyana and Suriname.  Suriname?  Something of an anomaly?  What were the Dutch doing there for three hundred years?  Not driving, it seems.

Which leaves Africa: the advice seems to be to keep south.  Countries, which drive on the left-hand side of the road number: Botswana; Kenya; Lesotho; Malawi; Mozambique; South Africa; Swaziland; Tanzania; Uganda; Zambia; and Zimbabwe.

Special mention

If there is a trend in traffic-sideyness over the last century or more, it would have to be said that it is away from the left-hand side of the road and towards the right/wrong side of the road.  The tradition of passing on the left dates back to more warring times when a––most typically––right-handed person would want to keep his sword/lance arm closest to an oncoming adversary.  In more peaceful times, this tradition has gradually been abandoned.

However, one country bucks that trend.  One country has changed from driving on the right-hand side of the road to driving on the left.

Step forward Namibia: take a bow.


© The Mudskipper

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