11 Feb 2008

Samoans living in NZ add voice to those opposing switch to left hand drive

6:39 am on 11 February 2008

Many Samoans living in New Zealand have voiced their opposition in the media to the Samoa government's plan to have the country drive on the left hand side of the road.

A special parliamentary committee has been gauging public opinion on the matter, and is about to conclude its hearings on Savaii.

The group, People Against Switching Sides, or PASS, has been formed in Samoa to oppose the switch.

PASS member, Papalii Dr Viopapa Annandale, says the government's been saying a majority of people support the bill.

But she says on a recent trip to New Zealand she didn't see any evidence of that .

She says many people voiced the same concerns as those back in Samoa.

"We feel unsafe driving on the side of the road that we're not used too....Majority of us we're used to driving on the right side but now we're being asked to drive on the left side. Our cars aren't made for that. And studies support that countries who have swapped over have experienced major accidents and injuries."