21 Aug 2009

Samoa drive switch campaign sabotaged

3:37 pm on 21 August 2009

In Samoa, villagers, angry at the Government's decision that the country will soon start driving on the other side of the road, have begun altering or removing road signs directing drivers to keep left.

The change to bring Samoa into line with Australia and New Zealand is just two weeks away but officials are facing a backlash.

Villagers in Laulii have authorities fuming after they altered the new directional arrows on the road by painting over them so they pointed the wrong way.

Others, disgruntled at the move, have removed more than a dozen road signs to remind drivers to keep left as of September 7th.

The Samoa Observer newspaper has been reporting a mood of increasing dissatisfaction over the switch, which has been promoted by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi in the hope it will encourage relatives living abroad to send cars to Samoa.

But opponents, including the action group People Against Switching Sides, argue the move is costly, pointless and being carried out with little co-ordination or consultation.