Left- and right-hand traffic

Left-hand traffic (LHT) and right-hand traffic (RHT) are the practice, in bidirectional traffic, of keeping to the left side or to the right side of the road, respectively. A fundamental element to traffic flow, it is sometimes referred to as the rule of the road.[1]

RHT is used in 165 countries and territories, with the remaining 75 countries and territories using LHT.[2] Countries that use LHT account for about a sixth of the world's area with about a third of its population and a quarter of its roads.[3] In 1919, 104 of the world's territories were LHT and an equal number were RHT. Between 1919 and 1986, thirty-four of the LHT territories switched to RHT.[4]

Many LHT countries were formerly part of the British Empire, although some were not, such as Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, and Suriname. Conversely, many RHT countries were part of the French colonial empire.

For rail transport, LHT predominates in Western Europe (except Germany, Denmark, Austria, Spain, and the Netherlands), Latin America (except Mexico), and in countries formerly in the British and French Empires, whereas North American and central and eastern European train services operate RHT.

According to the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, water traffic is effectively RHT: a vessel proceeding along a narrow channel must keep to starboard (the right-hand side), and when two power-driven vessels are meeting head-on both must alter course to starboard also. For aircraft the US Federal Aviation Regulations suggest RHT principles, both in the air and on water.[5]

In LHT vehicles keep left, and cars are RHD (right-hand drive) with the steering wheel on the right-hand side and the driver sitting on the offside or side closest to the centre of the road. The passenger sits on the nearside, closest to the curb. Roundabouts circulate clockwise. In RHT everything is reversed: cars keep right, the driver sits on the left side of the car, and roundabouts circulate counterclockwise.


Historically, many places kept left, while many others kept right, often within the same country. There are many myths which attempt to explain why one or the other is preferred.[6] About 90 per cent of people are right handed,[7] and many explanations reference this. Horses are traditionally mounted from the left, and led from the left, with the reins in the right hand. So people walking horses might use RHT, to keep the animals separated. Also referenced is the need for pedestrians to keep their swords in the right hand and pass on the left as in LHT, for self-defence. It has been suggested that wagon-drivers whipped their horses with their right hand, and thus sat on the left hand side of the wagon, as in RHT. It has been written that in the year 1300, Pope Boniface VIII directed pilgrims to keep left, however it has also been written that he directed them to keep to the right, and there is no documentary evidence to back either claim.[6]


The first reference in English law to LHT was in 1756, with regard to London Bridge.[8]

After the French Revolution, all traffic in France kept right.[8]

Rotterdam was LHT until 1917,[9] although the rest of the Netherlands was RHT.

Russia completely switched to RHT in the last days of the Tsars in February 1917.

After the Austro-Hungarian Empire broke up, the resulting countries gradually changed to RHT. In Austria, Vorarlberg switched in 1921, North Tyrol in 1930, Carinthia and East Tyrol in 1935, and the rest of the country in 1938.[10] In Romania, Transylvania, the Banat and Bukovina were LHT until 1919, while Wallachia and Moldavia were already RHT. Partitions of Poland belonging to the German Empire and the Russian Empire were RHT, while the former Austrian Partition changed in the 1920s.[11] Croatia-Slavonia switched on joining the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1918, although Istria and Dalmatia were already RHT.[12] Nazi Germany introduced the switch in Czechoslovakia and Slovakia in 1938–1939.[13][14] West Ukraine was LHT, but the rest of Ukraine, having been part of the Russian Empire, was RHT.

In Italy it had been decreed in 1901 that each province define its own traffic code, including the handedness of traffic,[15] and the 1903 Baedeker guide reported that the rule of the road varied by region.[6] For example, in Northern Italy, the provinces of Brescia, Como, Vicenza, and Ravenna were RHT while nearby provinces of Lecco, Verona, and Varese were LHT,[15] as were the cities Milan, Turin, and Florence.[6] In 1915, allied forces of World War I imposed LHT in areas of military operation, but this was revoked in 1918. The situation was similar in Southern Italy with Rome being reported by Goethe as LHT as early as the late 1700s. Naples was also LHT although surrounding areas were often RHT. In cities LHT was considered safer since pedestrians, accustomed to keeping right, could better see oncoming vehicular traffic.[15] Finally, in 1923 totalitarian ruler Benito Mussolini decreed that all LHT areas would gradually transition to RHT.[15]

Portugal switched to RHT in 1928.

Finland, formerly part of LHT Sweden, switched to RHT in 1858 as the Grand Duchy of Finland by Russian decree.[16]

Sweden switched to RHT in 1967, having been LHT from about 1734[17] despite having land borders with RHT countries, and approximately 90% of cars being left-hand drive (LHD).[18] A referendum in 1955 overwhelmingly rejected a change to RHT, but a few years later the government ordered it, and it occurred on Sunday, 3 September 1967[19] at 5 am. The accident rate then dropped sharply,[20] but soon rose to near its original level.[21] The day was known as Högertrafikomläggningen, or Dagen H for short. When Iceland switched the following year, it was known as Hægri dagurinn or H-dagurinn ("The H-Day").[22] Most passenger cars in Iceland were already LHD.

The United Kingdom is LHT, but its overseas territories of Gibraltar and British Indian Ocean Territory are RHT. In the late 1960s, the UK Department for Transport considered switching to RHT, but declared it unsafe and too costly for such a built-up nation.[23] Road building standards, for motorways in particular, allow asymmetrically designed road junctions, where merge and diverge lanes differ in length.[24]

Today, four countries in Europe continue to use LHT; they are all island nations and formerly parts of the British Empire: the United Kingdom, Cyprus, Republic of Ireland, and Malta.


Egypt was conquered by Napoleon and it kept RHT even after it became a British dependency.

LHT was introduced in British West Africa. All of the countries formerly part of this colony border with former French RHT jurisdictions and have switched to RHT since decolonization. These include Ghana, Gambia,[25] Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. Britain introduced LHT to the East Africa Protectorate (now Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda), Rhodesia, and the Cape Colony (now Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa). All of these have remained LHT. Sudan, formerly part of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan switched to RHT in 1973, as it is surrounded by neighbouring RHT countries.

The Portuguese Empire, then LHT, introduced LHT to Portuguese Mozambique and Portuguese Angola. Although Portugal itself switched to RHT in 1928, Mozambique remained LHT as they have land borders with former British colonies. Other former Portuguese colonies in Africa including Portuguese Angola, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Cape Verde switched to RHT in 1928.

France introduced RHT in French West Africa and the Maghreb, where it is still used. Countries in this former colony include Mali, Mauritania, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Benin, Niger, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Other French former colonies that are RHT include Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Djibouti, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo.

Rwanda and Burundi, former Belgian colonies in Central Africa, are RHT but are considering switching to LHT[26][27] like neighbouring members of the East African Community (EAC).[28] A survey in 2009 found that 54% of Rwandans favoured the switch. Reasons cited were the perceived lower costs of RHD vehicles, easier maintenance and the political benefit of harmonious traffic regulations with other EAC countries. The survey indicated that RHD cars were 16% to 49% cheaper than their LHD counterparts.[29] In 2014, an internal report by consultants to the Ministry of Infrastructure recommended a switch to LHT.[30] In 2015, the ban on RHD vehicles was lifted; RHD trucks from neighbouring countries cost $1000 less than LHD models imported from Europe.[31][32]

North America

In what is now Canada, LHT was introduced by the British in British Columbia, which changed to RHT in stages from 1920 to 1923,[33][34] and New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, which changed in 1922, 1923, and 1924 respectively.[35] Newfoundland, then a British colony,[36] changed to RHT in 1947, two years before joining Canada.[37] Former parts of New France have always been RHT.[38]

In the early years of British colonisation of North America in 18th century, British driving customs were followed and the original Thirteen Colonies drove on the left. After declaring independence from the United Kingdom in 4 July 1776, however, they were anxious to cast off all remaining links with their British colonial past and gradually changed to right-hand driving, influenced by a number of factors, including gratitude for French help in the War of Independence, the views of those Americans with roots in continental Europe and specifically the influence of General Lafayette, the French liberal reformer. Incidentally, the influence of other European immigrants, especially the French, should not be underestimated.

In the late 1700s, traffic in the United States was RHT based on teamsters' use of large freight wagons pulled by several pairs of horses. The wagons had no driver's seat, so the (typically right-handed) postilion held his whip in his right hand and thus sat on the left rear horse. Seated on the left, the driver preferred that other wagons pass him on the left so that he could be sure to keep clear of the wheels of oncoming wagons.[39] The first keep-right law for driving in the United States was passed in 1792 and applied to the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike.[40] New York formalized RHT in 1804, New Jersey in 1813 and Massachusetts in 1821.[41] Today the United States is RHT except the United States Virgin Islands,[42] which is LHT like many neighbouring islands.

Some postal service vehicles, garbage trucks, many parking enforcement vehicles and uncommon speciality vehicles in the United States are still being RHD.

In the West Indies, colonies and territories drive on the same side as their parent countries, except for the United States Virgin Islands. Many of the island nations are former British colonies and drive on the left, including Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and The Bahamas.


LHT was introduced by the British in British India (now India, Pakistan, Myanmar, and Bangladesh), British Malaya (now Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore), and British Hong Kong. All are still LHT except Myanmar, which switched to RHT in 1970,[43] although much of its infrastructure is still geared to LHT. Most cars are used RHD vehicles imported from Japan.[44] Afghanistan was LHT until the 1950s, in line with neighbouring British India and later Pakistan.[45]

LHT was introduced by the Portuguese Empire in Portuguese Macau (now Macau) and Portuguese Timor (now East Timor). Both places are still LHT, despite Macau now being part of RHT China, requiring a right-to-left switching interchange at the Lotus Bridge which connects the two. East Timor shares the island of Timor with Indonesia, which is also LHT, although the former (then Portuguese Timor) switched to RHT along with Portugal in 1928[1] before changing back to LHT in 1976 during the Indonesian occupation of East Timor.

China is RHT except the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau. LHT was uniform in the 1930s, then the northern provinces were RHT. Nationalist China adopted RHT in 1946. This convention was preserved when the CCP took the mainland and the KMT retreated to Taiwan.

Both North Korea and South Korea switched to RHT in 1945 after liberation from Japanese colonial power.

The Philippines was mostly LHT during its Spanish[46] and American colonial periods,[47][48] as well as during the Commonwealth era.[49] During the Japanese occupation, the Philippines remained LHT,[50] also because LHT had been required by the Japanese;[51] but during the Battle of Manila, the liberating American forces drove their tanks to the right for easier facilitation of movement. RHT was formalised in 1945.[52]

Japan was never part of the British Empire, but its traffic also goes to the left. Although the origin of this habit goes back to the Edo period (1603-1868), it was not until 1872 that this unwritten rule became more or less official. That was the year when Japan’s first railway was introduced, built with technical aid from the British. Gradually, a massive network of railways and tram tracks was built, and of course all trains and trams drove on the left-hand side. Still, it took another half century till in 1924 left-side driving was clearly written in a law. In Japan, Post-World War II Okinawa was ruled by the United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands and was RHT. It was returned to Japan in 1972 but did not convert back to LHT until 1978.[53] The conversion operation was known as 730 (Nana-San-Maru, which refers to the date of the changeover, 30 July). Okinawa is one of few places to have changed from RHT to LHT in the late 1900s.

Vietnam became RHT as part of French Indochina, as did Cambodia. In the latter country, RHD cars, many of which were smuggled from Thailand, were banned from 2001, even though they accounted for 80% of vehicles in the country.[54]


Many former British colonies in the region have always been LHT, including Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Tuvalu, as well as nations which were previously administered by Australia, being Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

Samoa, a former German colony, had been RHT for more than a century. It switched to LHT in 2009,[55] being the first territory in almost 30 years to switch.[56] The move was legislated in 2008 to allow Samoans to use cheaper right-hand drive (RHD) vehicles—which are better suited for left-hand traffic—imported from Australia, New Zealand or Japan, and to harmonise with other South Pacific nations. A political party, The People's Party, was formed by the group People Against Switching Sides (PASS) to try to protest against the change, with the latter launching a legal challenge,[57] and in April 2008 an estimated 18,000 people attended demonstrations against it.[58] The motor industry was also opposed, as 14,000 of Samoa's 18,000 vehicles are designed for RHT and the government has refused to meet the cost of conversion.[56] After months of preparation, the switch from right to left happened in an atmosphere of national celebration. There were no reported incidents.[3] At 05:50 local time, Monday 7 September, a radio announcement halted traffic, and an announcement at 6:00 ordered traffic to switch to LHT.[55] The change coincided with more restrictive enforcement of speeding and seat-belt laws.[59] That day and the following day were declared public holidays, to reduce traffic.[60] The change included a three-day ban on alcohol sales, while police mounted dozens of checkpoints, warning drivers to drive slowly.[3]

South America

Brazil was a colony of Portugal until the early 19th century and during this century and the early 20th century had mixed rules, with some regions still on LHT, switching these remaining regions to RHT in 1928, the same year Portugal switched sides.[61] Other Central and South American countries that later switched from LHT to RHT include Argentina, Chile, Panama,[62] Paraguay,[63] and Uruguay.

Suriname, along with neighbouring Guyana, are the only two remaining LHT countries in South America.[64]

Changing sides at borders

Although many LHT jurisdictions are on islands, there are cases where vehicles may be driven from LHT across a border into a RHT area. Such borders are mostly located in Africa and southern Asia. The Vienna Convention on Road Traffic regulates the use of foreign registered vehicles in the 74 countries that have ratified it.

LHT Thailand has three RHT neighbours: Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar. Most of its borders use a simple traffic light to do the switch, but there are also interchanges which enable the switch while keeping up a continuous flow of traffic.[65]

There are four road border crossing points between Hong Kong and Mainland China. In 2006, the daily average number of vehicle trips recorded at Lok Ma Chau was 31,100.[66] The next largest is Man Kam To, where there is no changeover system and the border roads on the mainland side Wenjindu intersect as one-way streets with a main road.

The Takutu River Bridge (which links LHT Guyana and RHT Brazil[67]) is the only border in the Americas where traffic changes sides.

Although the United Kingdom is separated from Continental Europe by the English Channel, the level of cross-Channel traffic is very high; the Channel Tunnel alone carries 3.5 million vehicles per year by the Eurotunnel Shuttle between the UK and France.

Road vehicle configurations

Steering wheel position

In RHT jurisdictions, vehicles are configured with LHD, with the steering wheel on the left side. In LHT jurisdictions, the reverse is true. The driver's side, the side closest to the centre of the road, is sometimes called the offside, while the passenger side, the side closest to the side of the road, is sometimes called the nearside.[68]

Most windscreen wipers are designed to clear the driver's side better and have a longer blade on the driver's side[69] and wipe up from the passenger side to the driver's side. Thus on LHD configurations, they wipe up from right to left, viewed from inside the vehicle, and do the opposite on RHD vehicles.

Historically there was less consistency in the relationship of the position of the driver to the handedness of traffic. Most American cars produced before 1910 were RHD.[40] In 1908 Henry Ford standardised the Model T as LHD in RHT America,[40] arguing that with RHD and RHT, the passenger was obliged to "get out on the street side and walk around the car" and that with steering from the left, the driver "is able to see even the wheels of the other car and easily avoids danger."[70] By 1915 other manufacturers followed Ford's lead, due to the popularity of the Model T.[40]

In specialised cases, the driver will sit on the nearside, or kerbside. Examples include:

  • Where the driver needs a good view of the nearside, e.g. street sweepers, or vehicles driven along unstable road edges.[71]
  • Where it is more convenient for the driver to be on the nearside, e.g. delivery vehicles. The Grumman LLV postal delivery truck is widely used with RHD configurations in RHT North America. Some Unimogs are designed to switch between LHD and RHD to permit operators to work on the more convenient side of the truck.

Generally, the convention is to mount a motorcycle on the left,[72] and kickstands are usually on the left[73] which makes it more convenient to mount on the safer kerbside[73] as is the case in LHT. Some jurisdictions prohibit fitting a sidecar to a motorcycle's offside.[74][75]

Headlamps and other lighting equipment

Most low-beam headlamps produce an asymmetrical light suitable for use on only one side of the road. Low beam headlamps in LHT jurisdictions throw most of their light forward-leftward; those for RHT throw most of their light forward-rightward, thus illuminating obstacles and road signs while minimising glare for oncoming traffic.

In Europe, headlamps approved for use on one side of the road must be adaptable to produce adequate illumination with controlled glare for temporarily driving on the other side of the road,[76]:p.13 ¶5.8. This may be achieved by affixing masking strips or prismatic lenses to a part of the lens or by moving all or part of the headlamp optic so all or part of the beam is shifted or the asymmetrical portion is occluded.[76]:p.13 ¶5.8.1 Some varieties of the projector-type headlamp can be fully adjusted to produce a proper LHT or RHT beam by shifting a lever or other movable element in or on the lamp assembly.[76]:p.12 ¶5.4 Some vehicles adjust the headlamps automatically when the car's GPS detects that the vehicle has moved from LHT to RHT and vice versa.

Rear fog lamps

In the European Union, vehicles must be equipped with one or two red rear fog lamps. A single rear fog lamp must be located between the vehicle's longitudinal centreline and the outer extent of the driver's side of the vehicle.[77]

Crash testing differences

An Australian news source reports that some RHD cars imported to that country did not perform as well on crash tests as the LHD versions, although the cause is unknown, and may be due to differences in testing methodology.[78]

Rail traffic

In most countries, rail traffic travels on the same side as road traffic. However, in many cases, railways were built using LHT British technology and, while road traffic switched to RHT, rail remained LHT. Examples include: Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Cambodia, Chile, Egypt, France, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Laos, Monaco, Myanmar, Nigeria, Peru, Portugal, Senegal, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tunisia, Venezuela, and Yemen. In Indonesia it is the reverse (RHT for rails (even for LRT systems) and LHT for roads). France is mainly LHT for trains, except for the classic lines in Alsace-Lorraine,[79] which belonged to Germany before 1918, when the railways were built, along with most metro systems. China is basically LHT for long-distance trains and RHT for metro systems. Spain, which is RHT for railways has LHT for metros in Madrid and Bilbao. Metros and light rail sides of operation vary, and might not match railways or roads in their country. Trams generally operate at the same side as other road traffic because they frequently share roads.

Worldwide distribution by country

Of the 195 countries currently recognised by the United Nations, 141 use RHT and 54 use LHT on roads in general. A country and its territories and dependencies are counted as one. Whichever directionality is listed first is the type that is used in general in the traffic category.

Country Road traffic Road switched sides Notes, exceptions
 Afghanistan RHT
 Albania RHT[80]
 Algeria RHT[81] French Algeria until 1962.
 Andorra RHT[82] Landlocked between France and Spain.
 Angola RHT[83] 1928 Portuguese colony until 1975.
 Antigua and Barbuda LHT[84] British colony until 1958. Caribbean island.
 Argentina RHT 1945 The anniversary on 10 June is still observed each year as Día de la Seguridad Vial (road safety day).[85]
 Armenia RHT[86]
 Australia LHT British colonies before 1901. Continent is one nation. Includes Norfolk Island.
 Austria RHT 1921–38
 Azerbaijan RHT
 Bahamas LHT[64] British colony before 1973. Caribbean island.
 Bahrain RHT 1967 Former British protectorate. Switched to same side as neighbours.[87]
 Bangladesh LHT Part of British India before 1947.
 Barbados LHT British colony before 1966. Caribbean archipelagic state.
 Belgium RHT 1899[88]
 Belarus RHT[89]
 Belize RHT 1961[1] Former British colony. Switched to same side as neighbours.
 Benin RHT Part of French West Africa before 1960.
 Bhutan LHT Under British protection before 1949.
 Bolivia RHT
 Bosnia and Herzegovina RHT 1918 Switched sides after the collapse of Austria-Hungary.
 Botswana LHT
 Brazil RHT 1928
 Brunei LHT UK protection until 1984.
 Bulgaria RHT
 Burkina Faso RHT Part of French West Africa before 1958.
 Burundi RHT Belgian colony before 1962.
 Cambodia RHT
 Cameroon RHT 1961
 Canada RHT 1920–24
 Cape Verde RHT 1928 Portuguese colony until 1975.
 Central African Republic RHT French colony before 1960.
 Chad RHT French colony before 1960.
 Chile RHT 1920s
 China RHT/LHT 1946 RHT in the Mainland, whereas Hong Kong and Macau are LHT due to their colonial heritage.
 Colombia RHT
 Comoros RHT French colony before 1975.
 Congo RHT French colony before 1960.
 DR Congo RHT Belgian colony before 1960.
 Costa Rica RHT
 Ivory Coast RHT Part of French West Africa before 1960.
 Croatia RHT 1926 (as part of Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes)
 Cuba RHT
 Cyprus LHT Under UK administration before 1960. Island nation.
 Czech Republic RHT 1939 Switched during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia.
 Denmark RHT Includes Faroe Islands and Greenland
 Djibouti RHT
 Dominica LHT British colony before 1978. Caribbean island.
 Dominican Republic RHT
 East Timor LHT 1976 Portuguese colony until 1975. Switched to RHT with Portugal in 1928; under the Indonesian annexation, it was switched back to LHT in 1976.
 Ecuador RHT
 Egypt RHT
 El Salvador RHT
 Equatorial Guinea RHT
 Eritrea RHT 1964 Italian colony before 1942.
 Estonia RHT
 Eswatini (Swaziland) LHT Former British colony. Continues to drive on the same side as neighbouring countries.
 Ethiopia RHT 1964
 Fiji LHT British colony before 1970. Island nation.
 Finland RHT 1858
 France RHT 1792 Includes French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna, French Guiana, Réunion, Saint Barthélemy, Collectivity of Saint Martin, Guadeloupe, Mayotte.
 Gabon RHT
 Gambia RHT 1965 British colony until 1965. Switched to RHT on 1 October 1965 being surrounded by the neighbouring former French colony of Senegal.[90]
 Georgia RHT About 40% vehicles in Georgia are RHD due to the low cost of used cars imported from Japan.[91]
 Germany RHT[92]
 Ghana RHT 1974 British colony until 1957. Ghana switched to RHT in 1974,[93][94] a Twi language slogan was "Nifa, Nifa Enan" or "Right, Right, Fourth".[95] Ghana has also banned RHD vehicles. Ghana prohibited new registrations of RHD vehicles after 1 August 1974, three days before the traffic change.
 Greece RHT
 Grenada LHT British colony before 1974. Caribbean island.
 Guatemala RHT
 Guinea RHT
 Guinea-Bissau RHT 1928 Portuguese colony until 1974.
 Guyana LHT British colony until 1970. One of the few countries in continental Americas are in LHT.
 Haiti RHT
  Holy See RHT Enclave of Rome.
 Honduras RHT
 Hungary RHT 1941 Originally LHT, like most of Austria-Hungary, but switched sides during the second world war.
 Iceland RHT 1968
 Iran RHT
 Iraq RHT
 India LHT Part of British India before 1947.
 Indonesia LHT[96] Roads and railways were built by the Dutch, with LHT for roads to conform to British and Japanese standards and RHT for railways. The Jakarta MRT and Palembang LRT also use RHT.
 Ireland LHT Part of the United Kingdom before 1922.
 Israel RHT
 Italy RHT 1924–26
 Jamaica LHT British colony before 1962. Caribbean island.
 Japan LHT[97]
 Jordan RHT
 Kazakhstan RHT
 Kenya LHT[98] Part of the British East Africa Protectorate before 1963.
 Kiribati LHT UK colony before 1979. Pacific islands.
 North Korea RHT 1946 Was LHT during the period of Japanese rule. Switched to RHT after Surrender of Japan.
 South Korea RHT 1946
 Kosovo RHT
 Kuwait RHT
 Kyrgyzstan RHT In 2012, over 20,000 cheaper used RHD cars were imported from Japan.[99]
 Laos RHT RHT implemented while part of French Indochina.
 Latvia RHT
 Lebanon RHT French Mandate of Lebanon before 1946.
 Lesotho LHT Enclave of LHT South Africa.
 Liberia RHT
 Libya RHT Italian Libya colony from 1911 to 1947.
 Liechtenstein RHT Landlocked between Switzerland and Austria.
 Lithuania RHT
 Luxembourg RHT
 Madagascar RHT Former French colony.
 Malawi LHT British colony before 1964.
 Malaysia LHT British colony before 1957.
 Maldives LHT British colony before 1965. Island nation.
 Mali RHT Part of French West Africa before 1960.
 Malta LHT British colony before 1964. Island nation.
 Marshall Islands RHT Was under American control.
 Mauritania RHT Part of French West Africa before 1960. Mining roads between Fderîck and Zouérat are LHT.[100]
 Mauritius LHT British colony before 1968. Island nation.
 Mexico RHT
 F.S. Micronesia RHT Was under American control.
 Moldova RHT
 Monaco RHT Was under French control.
 Mongolia RHT
 Montenegro RHT
 Morocco RHT Former French colony.
 Mozambique LHT Portuguese colony until 1975.
 Myanmar RHT 1970 Part of British India until 1948. Switched to RHT in 1970.
 Netherlands RHT 1906[101] Includes Curaçao, Sint Maarten, and Aruba
 Namibia LHT 1918 Administered by South Africa 1920-1990.
 Nauru LHT 1918 Administered by Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom until 1968. Island nation.
   Nepal LHT Lost the Anglo-Nepalese War with British India and shares land border with LHT India.
 New Zealand LHT[102] British colony before 1947. Pacific island, including territories Niue and Cook Islands
 Nicaragua RHT
 Niger RHT Part of French West Africa before 1958.
 Nigeria RHT 1972 British colony until 1960. Switched to RHT being surrounded by neighbouring former French colonies.
 North Macedonia RHT
 Norway RHT
 Oman RHT[103]
 Pakistan LHT Part of British India before 1947.
 Palau RHT
 Palestinian National Authority RHT
 Panama RHT 1943
 Papua New Guinea LHT After Australia occupied German New Guinea during World War I, switched to LHT.
 Paraguay RHT 1945
 Peru RHT
 Philippines RHT 1946[52] Was LHT during the Spanish and American colonial periods. Switched to RHT during Battle of Manila in 1945. Philippine National Railways switched to RHT in 2010.
 Poland RHT
 Portugal RHT[96] 1928 Colonies Goa, Macau and Mozambique, which had land borders with LHT countries, did not switch and continue to drive on the left.[104] The Porto Metro uses RHT.
 Qatar RHT Former British protectorate. Switched to same side as neighbours.
 Romania RHT 1919 Parts of Romania that formerly belonged to Austria-Hungary (Transylvania, Bukovina, parts of the Banat, Crișana and Maramureș) were LHT until 1919.
 Russia RHT In the Russian Far East RHD vehicles are common due to the import of used cars from nearby Japan.[105] Railway between Moscow and Ryazan, Sormovskaya line in Nizhny Novgorod Metro and Moskva River cable car use LHT.
 Rwanda RHT[26]
 Saint Kitts and Nevis LHT British colony before 1967. Caribbean island.
 Saint Lucia LHT British colony before 1979. Caribbean island.
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines LHT British colony before 1979. Caribbean island.
 Samoa LHT 2009 Switched to LHT to allow for cheaper importation of cars from Australia, New Zealand and Japan.[96]
 San Marino RHT Enclaved state surrounded by Italy.
 São Tomé and Príncipe RHT 1928 Portuguese colony until 1975.
 Saudi Arabia RHT 1942
 Senegal RHT Part of French West Africa before 1960.
 Serbia RHT 1926 (as part of Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes), Vojvodina was LHT while part of Austria-Hungary.
 Seychelles LHT British colony before 1976. Island nation.
 Sierra Leone RHT 1971[106] British colony until 1961. Switched to RHT being surrounded by neighbouring former French colonies. Banned the importation of RHD vehicles in 2013.[107]
 Singapore LHT British colony until 1963 and was part of Malaysia until 1965.
 Slovakia RHT 1939–41 Switched during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia.
 Slovenia RHT 1926 (as part of Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes), officially LHT from 1915 as part of Austria-Hungary.
 Solomon Islands LHT British colony before 1975. Island nation.
 Somalia RHT The former British Somaliland had LHT until it formed a union with the former Italian Somaliland which had RHT.
 South Africa LHT[108][109] British colony before 1909.
 South Sudan RHT 1973 Then part of Sudan.
 Spain RHT 1924 Up to the 1920s Barcelona was RHT, and Madrid was LHT until 1924. The Madrid Metro still uses LHT.
 Sri Lanka LHT British Ceylon 1815-1948.
 Sudan RHT 1973 Formerly Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
 Suriname LHT 1920s Dutch colony until 1975. One of the few countries in continental Americas are in LHT.
 Sweden RHT 1967 The day of the switch (3 September) was known as Dagen H. Most passenger cars were already LHD.
  Switzerland RHT
 Syria RHT Was under French and Italian control.
 Taiwan RHT 1946 Was LHT during the period of Japanese rule. The government of the Republic of China changed Taiwan to RHT in 1946 along with the rest of China.[110]
 Tajikistan RHT
 Tanzania LHT Part of the British East Africa Protectorate until 1961.
 Thailand LHT[96] One of the few LHT countries not a former British colony. Shares long land border with RHT Myanmar Laos and Cambodia.
 Togo RHT
 Tonga LHT British protectorate before 1970. Polynesian island nation.
 Trinidad and Tobago LHT[111] British colony before 1962. Caribbean island.
 Tunisia RHT French RHT was enforced in the French protectorate of Tunisia from 1881.
 Turkey RHT 1920s
 Turkmenistan RHT
 Tuvalu LHT British colony before 1974. Island nation.
 Uganda LHT British Uganda Protectorate 1894-1962.
 Ukraine RHT 1922[11]
 United Arab Emirates RHT Former British protectorate. Switched to same side as neighbours.
 United Kingdom LHT/RHT 1929
(in Gibraltar)
Includes Crown dependencies and Overseas Territories Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands (unregistered), Turks and Caicos Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension, Tristan da Cunha are all LHT. Gibraltar has been RHT since 1929 because of its land border with Spain.[112] The British Indian Ocean Territory is the only other overseas territory driving on the right. The Channel Islands (Jersey and Guernsey) drove on the right under German occupation lasting from 1940 to 1945.[113]
 United States RHT/LHT U.S. Virgin Islands, like much of the Caribbean, is LHT and is the only American jurisdiction that still has LHT, because the islands drove on the left when the US purchased the former Danish West Indies in the 1917 Treaty of the Danish West Indies.
 Uruguay RHT 1945 Became LHT in 1918, but as in some other countries in South America, changed to RHT on 2 September 1945.[114] A speed limit of 30 km/h (19 mph) was observed until 30 September for safety.
 Uzbekistan RHT
 Vanuatu RHT[115] Co-administrated under France and United Kingdom until 1980.
 Venezuela RHT
 Vietnam RHT Became RHT as French Indochina. The Long Bien Bridge uses LHT.
 Western Sahara RHT Occupied by Spain until the late 1900s.
 Yemen RHT 1977[1] South Yemen, formerly the British colony of Aden, changed to RHT in 1977. A series of postage stamps commemorating the event was issued.[116] North Yemen was already RHT.
 Zambia LHT British colony before 1964.
 Zimbabwe LHT British colony before 1965.

See also


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