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Re: Which side? (more or less)

Subject: Re: Which side? (more or less)
From: Joe Curry <>
Date: Sat, 01 Nov 1997 15:36:43 -0800
Cc: triumphs@Autox.Team.Net,
Organization: Curry Enterprises
References: <> wrote:
> You may see,in English literature,the LHS of the car referred to as the
> 'nearside',whereas the RHS of the car is referred to as the 'offside'
> nearside is of course nautically referred to as Port and offside as
> Starboard.
> >From which comes the word 'Posh' (no connection whatever with the Spice
> girls!)
> Posh is apparently an English word originating on cruise ships of the 1930's,
> The story goes that on cruise liners sailing eastwards from England around
> the Cape of Good Hope,(South Africa),to,say India & Australia...On the way
> out,the best cabins were on the Port side of the liner,whereas on the way
> back,they were on the Starboard side,hence P.O.S.H. or Port Out Starboard Home
> .
> (No,in fact,that is just another one of those 'stories' which I don't think
> it is true,as the dictionary definition states it an early word meaning
> 'money' or 'dandy' which of course is a North American word!
> anyhow,I'm straying from the point here:sorry!
> Contrary to an earlier listers' contention,there are in fact,quite a few
> countries that continue to drive on the left-hand side of the road without
> any great difficulty,and indeed at considerable speed! (see the RH lane of
> the M1 Motorway (freeway) heading north from
> London-Birmingham,England),average speed is usually IRO 90mph and Britain has
> the best road safety record in Europe,a situation which would no doubt
> deteriorate if we were to change to the other side! We have 30 million
> vehicles crowded onto this tiny island right now,with all the associated
> Road-furniture that goes with it,so it would be a very big waste of money as
> well...
> So,if you drive in The British Isles,The island of Ireland,Australia,New
> Zealand,South Africa,Zimbabwe,Japan,Malta,Cyprus,(I think) & no doubt plenty
> of other ex-British colonies,(Hong Kong?)...
> You will join in with them and drive on the left,hopefully...
> nb.While we are about it,and with due respect,How many American drivers know
> what to do at a roundabout/rotary?
> I once came upon one to the north of the Hawaiian island of Oahu,and
> marvelled at the behaviour of drivers when they arrived at this obstacle
> placed before them! It was a sight to behold,I wish I had my Video Camera
> then!
> Leon.
> (still not quite undrstanding the American rule of being able to turn right
> against a red-light)

Driving on one side is no safer (or less so) from driving on the other. 
The problem as you so eloquently point out is when people who learned to
drive on one side, are forced to comply with road rules backward from
what has become instinctive driving abilities.  My personal experience
is that with much concentration, one can rather quickly adapt.  But in
emergency situations when your instncts kick in, that is when one is apt
to get into trouble. 

The real test of whether or not you have the hang of it is when you are
forced to back up any distance and maneuver around a corner backward.

BTW, roundabouts are frequently called Traffic circles in the US.
Traffic usually flows counterclockwise.
The theory behind the right on red rule is that after you come to a
complete stop and see no cars coming from the left, you will be able to
turn without disturbing any other lanes.  This eases congestion and
routes traffic faster.  Problem is, That is a rule that is only allowed
on a local basis, and not universally so in places where it is allowed. 
Watch for the signs (however obscure) that say whether it is OK.

Joe Curry   '63 Spit

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