• Short Summary

    FROM SEPTEMBER 3RD, EVERY COUNTRY IN CONTINENTAL EUROPE WILL HAVE ITS TRAFFIC DRIVING ON THE RIGHT-HAND SIDE OF THE ROAD.

  • Description


    ASPECTS OF THE PREPARATIONS FOR THE CHANGE.




    Initials MJH/VS/WS/JG



    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: FROM SEPTEMBER 3RD, EVERY COUNTRY IN CONTINENTAL EUROPE WILL HAVE ITS TRAFFIC DRIVING ON THE RIGHT-HAND SIDE OF THE ROAD. FOR ON THAT DAY SWEDEN, THE LAST TO HAVE LEFT-HAND DRIVING, WILL CHANGE ITS TRAFFIC RULES. THE GREAT MAJORITY OF COUNTRIES ALL OVER THE WORLD NOW DRIVE ON THE RIGHT: THE CHIEF EXCEPTIONS ARE JAPAN, THE UNITED KINGDOM, SOUTH AFRICA AND MOST OF THE COUNTRIES OF THE COMMONWEALTH.

    SWEDEN FIRST CONSIDERED CHANGING OVER, INTO LINE WITH THE REST OF CONTINENTAL EUROPE, 40 YEARS AGO, BUT THERE WAS MUCH OPPOSITION. EVEN IN 1955, A PLEBISCITE SHOWED A BIG MAJORITY OF THOSE WHO VOTED WERE AGAINST ANY CHANGE. BUT IN 1963, THE SWEDISH PARLIAMENT DECIDED THAT IT SHOULD BE DONE. THE MAJORITY VIEW WAS THAT WITH INCREASING TRAFFIC (SWEDEN NOW HAS TWO MILLION CARS -- ONE FOR EVERY FOUR OF THE POPULATION), AND THE INCREASING NUMBER OF FOREIGN VEHICLES ENTERING THE COUNTRY, THE CHANGE MUST COME, AND IT WOULD BE LESS EXPENSIVE AND CAUSE FEWER ACCIDENTS TO DO IT EARLY RATHER THAN LATE.

    THE CHANGE-OVER IS EXPECTED TO COST ABOUT 600-MILLION KRONER (GBP40-MILLION STERLING), AND MOTORISTS HAVE BEEN PAYING A SPECIAL TAX TO MEET THIS FOR THE PAST THREE YEARS. THE MOST EXPENSIVE ITEMS ARE THE CONVERSION OF SWEDEN'S SEVEN THOUSAND BUSES AND TRAMS, SO THAT THE DOORS OPEN ON THE OTHER SIDE, AND THE ERECTION OF THOUSANDS OF NEW ROAD SIGNS. PRIVATE MOTORISTS DO NOT FACE A CONVERSION PROBLEM, AS SWEDISH CARS ARE BUILT LIKE OTHER EUROPEAN MODELS WITH LEFT-HAND DRIVE; THEY WILL NOW FIND THINGS EASIER, DRIVING ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD FOR WHICH THEIR CARS ARE CONSTRUCTED.

    THE AUTHORITIES HAVE PLANNED A MASSIVE INSTRUCTION CAMPAIGN, DESIGNED TO MAKE THE NEW RULE OF THE ROAD CLEAR TO ALL KINDS OF ROAD USERS. IT IS BEING CARRIED OUT IN THREE PHASES. THE FIRST IN WHICH PREPARATIONS WERE MADE, WILL GIVE WAY TO THE SECOND ON AUGUST 20TH. IN THE TWO WEEKS BETWEEN THEN AND SEPTEMBER 3RD A MOST INTENSIVE CAMPAIGN OF INSTRUCTION WILL BE CARRIED ON, USING NEWSPAPER ADVERTISEMENTS, CHILDREN'S COMICS, TELEVISION AND RADIO AND CINEMA FILMS.

    THE DATE HAS BEEN CHOSEN AS THE BEST FOR TEACHING THE CHILDREN; IT IS ONE WEEK AFTER THEY GO BACK TO SCHOOL AFTER THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS, AND MOST OF THAT WEEK WILL BE GIVEN OVER TO TRAFFIC INSTRUCTION. SPECIAL STUDIES HAVE BEEN MADE OF THE PROBLEMS RAISED FOR THE BLIND AND DISABLED, AND THOUSANDS OF VOLUNTEERS FROM YOUTH CLUBS AND SIMILAR ORGANISATIONS WILL BE OUT ON THE STREETS ACTING A GUIDES FOR THOSE WHO WANT HELP WHEN THE CHANGE-OVER TAKES PLACE.

    THE EXACT HOUR OF THE CHANGE WILL BE FIVE O'CLOCK ON SUNDAY MORNING, AND MOST TRAFFIC WILL HAVE TO STOP FOR FIVE HOURS DURING THE NIGHT TO ALLOW LAST MINUTE ALTERATIONS TO TRAFFIC SIGNS TO BE MADE. IN STOCKHOLM AND OTHER BIG CITIES, TRAFFIC WILL HAVE TO STOP FOR 24-HOURS OR MORE DURING THE WEEK-END. THE ONLY EXCEPTIONS WILL BE PUBLIC SERVICE VEHICLES SUCH AS FIE ENGINES AND AMBULANCES AND TAXIS, BUSES AND NEWSPAPER VANS. EVEN THESE WILL HAVE TO STOP AT TEN MINUTES TO FIVE, CROSS OVER AND WAIT TILL FIVE O'CLOCK BEFORE MOVING OFF AGAIN.

    WHEN TRAFFIC STARTS CIRCULATING AGAIN, REDUCED SPEED LIMITS ??? IN FORCE FOR THE TIME BEING: 40 KMS (25 MILES) AN HOUR IN ??? AND 60 KMS (37 MILES) AN HOUR ELSEWHERE, EXCEPT ON MOTORWAYS. ??? LIMIT WILL BE RAISED TO 70 (45 MPH) AFTER TWO DAYS. OTHER ???IONS WILL BE KEPT IN BEING UNTIL IT IS SEEN HOW THE CHANGE IS GOING OUT.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA3GC7K2W6L753MI3SKDOQUHB9N
    Media URN:
    VLVA3GC7K2W6L753MI3SKDOQUHB9N
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    11/08/1967
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:05:54:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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