Author Topic: Sweden Moves to the Right  (Read 176 times)

Offline Mr Tasker

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Sweden Moves to the Right
« on: December 03, 2017, 08:52:34 am »
I read an interesting article the other day. Just over 50 years ago the Swedish swapped over from driving on the left, as the British do, to driving on the right, as the Americans do (perhaps I should say it was an inner-resting article).

The public were dead against it, with polls as high as 83% opposed, but the authorities pressed on. Then it was suggested to do a region at a time to lessen the disruption, but even in 1967 there was too much inter-regional traffic for that to be feasible.

So the government fixed a date, but they did make one concession to reduce the shock of change: all cars would swap lanes on 3 September, but trucks and buses would change a month later.

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Offline admin

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Re: Sweden Moves to the Right
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2017, 09:06:22 pm »
The swap is true. The rest is - let us say - questionable :)
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Offline t k

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Re: Sweden Moves to the Right
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2017, 02:29:59 am »
Until I did a google search, I thought this was with tongue in cheek.  I wonder how they felt with all the driving seats on the right.  --- tk

Offline Darryl

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Re: Sweden Moves to the Right
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2017, 03:49:27 am »
What a monumental task it would be to reconfigure all the road intersections, one way streets, road signs etc all in a small space of time.

Offline Mr Tasker

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Re: Sweden Moves to the Right
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2017, 07:57:24 am »
I wonder how they felt with all the driving seats on the right.  --- tk

I believe most of the cars were left-hand-drive already - partly because there were a lot of American imports and partly because the local manufacturers had been anticipating the change for years.

That was part of the impetus for change: It's very dangerous to overtake on an undivided carriageway if you can't see what's coming until you're committed to the maneuver. 
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 08:02:13 am by Mr Tasker »
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Offline Britta

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Re: Sweden Moves to the Right
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2017, 08:43:39 am »
I believe most of the cars were left-hand-drive already - partly because there were a lot of American imports  ...
Do not forget that all other European countries, apart from the Brits, drive on the right too, so all German, French and Italian cars would also have the wheel on the left hand side.
If it's not used by a native speaker it's not idiomatic. And idiom trumps grammar every time. Jack Wilkerson†

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Re: Sweden Moves to the Right
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2017, 03:38:47 pm »
If you think about road junctions - even clover leafed ones - they don't need re-configuring. Just the signage.
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Offline Mr Tasker

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Re: Sweden Moves to the Right
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2017, 01:00:53 pm »
I forgot to mention an interesting little-known fact: The car manufacturer Volvo was founded because of the changeover. In the first month there were a horrific number of car/truck head-on crashes (no one knows why), and Andreas Volvo decided it was urgent that a safer, more heavily built car be available.

The crashes tailed off after about a month but Volvo was off and running and the rest, as they say, is history.
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Re: Sweden Moves to the Right
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2017, 01:28:29 pm »
 :)
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Duncan Baker
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Offline Mr Tasker

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Re: Sweden Moves to the Right
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2017, 02:39:27 pm »
Oh, and one other thing: I wanted to say how hurt and disappointed I was earlier that *some* people cast doubt on the veracity of my post.

All I want to do is share a little knowledge with a few fun facts, and I'm met with world-weary cynicism and negativity.

And then after researching it and finding it to be 100% true and factual, no apology was forthcoming.

Sometimes I wonder why I bother to try, in my modest and unassuming way, to lift ever so slightly the veil of ignorance.
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Re: Sweden Moves to the Right
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2017, 11:38:55 am »
 :o
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Offline Mr Tasker

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Re: Sweden Moves to the Right
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2017, 09:23:10 pm »
Well, I won't be deterred from spreading my - what shall we call it? - fertilizer (to enrich the mind).

Talk of Swedish cars reminds me of the story of Saab (pronounced "Sahb") in America.

These days car companies are excited by the potential of emerging economies and their huge populations, but for most of the 20th Century exporting to America was the holy grail for most European car manufacturers.

When Saab contemplated doing so, they immediately faced a problem: You can't just show up with a few cars and expect to succeed; you need a dealer network, parts distribution and servicing facilities. It's a huge task.

So, they found a moribund U.S. car company with a good network but dismal sales and took it over. It was called Sayab.

To take advantage of the small goodwill that remained with the name, Saab re-badged a few of its models as Sayabs, for a couple of years, but dropped that practice once they were well established.

But, old habits die hard and you'll still find a few older Americans referring to the car as a "Say-ab"

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Offline admin

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Re: Sweden Moves to the Right
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2017, 10:10:50 am »
Well - you learn something every day!
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Duncan Baker
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Offline Darryl

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Re: Sweden Moves to the Right
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2017, 10:35:40 am »
We nearly bought a Saab once. My mechanic son objected. He told us not to buy any Saab that didn't have wings!

Offline Bertha

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Re: Sweden Moves to the Right
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2017, 11:29:08 am »
 ??? ??? ???
Bertha