LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||13/JAN/2006 10:08 AM|
|Assunto:||Why do the British drive on the left?|
I have this:
Why do the British drive on the left hand side of the road?
At least once a week, I am asked why the British drive on the left hand side of the road. So Sönke looked into it and wants to tell you what he found out. However, there are a lot of different theories. This is only one of them.
In the early days, around 1300AD, people used their swords to protect themselves against attackers. In those days, most people were right handed which meant they could defend themselves better if they walked on the left hand side of the road.
None of this changed until 1773 when there was an increase in horse traffic. It became a law in 1835, to keep on the left hand side of the road.
The reason why some countries drive on the right hand side isn’t clear but this could be the reason: During the French Revolution, the French drove their carriages so fast, that everybody had to walk on the right hand side of the road, to avoid being run over by the carriages.It was for their safety that there was a keep right rule introduced in 1794.
It was obviously the poor peasants who had to walk while the richer people could afford a horse and carriage.
All the British colonies took over the drive left rule and all the French colonies took the stay right rule. When the British colonies became independent they also changed to the right.
So that explains a bit, but certainly not everything. Although to me, this explanation does seem reasonable.
Copyright: Sönke Christopher Dökel
Envie uma resposta
Índice de mensagens