What happens when you drive between two countries that drive on opposite sides of the

A quick search on Flickr returned this picture of the border between China and Pakistan with the “Keep To The Left Side” visible on the Chinese side.

It helps to remember that not all border crossings are four-lane highways. Here’s a border crossing between Uganda and Zaire (which is now called Democratic Republic of the Congo and should not be confused with the neighboring country Republic of the Congo).

Welcome to the SDMB, NotMarc.

A link to the column you’re commenting on is appreciated. Providing one can be as simple as pasting the URL into your post, making sure to leave a blank space on either side of it. Like so: http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a4_242.html

NotMarc, I couldn’t make out the sign in the first link, but the Wikipedia entry is actually pretty good on this topic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driving_on_the_left_or_right#Changing_sides_at_borders

I’ll take the mountain side as quick and closely as possible. I’ll be hitting the brakes, too.

GFactor, thank you for the Wikipedia link. I followed it a bit further to the Wiki entry for the change-over in Sweden* which discusses when they switched from driving on the left hand side to the right hand side. This happened in September 1967, just a few months after my family moved there for my Dad’s job and my memories of the time are from an 8-year old’s perspective.

I do remember my Dad mentioning driving from Sweden to Norway before the switch-over. There was a straight road (no intersection) with a pair of stop signs at the border, one for each direction, and signs telling you to move to the other side of the road and stay there.

The switch-over was the model of Swedish efficiency. I was impressed even as an 8-year old (with a future career in roadway design).

    • I am continually astounded by the subjects covered by Wikipedia.

**Gfactor, ** it’s that dark sign on the right edge of the shot. Here’s a higher resolution.

And bibliophage: Thanks for the advice. I’ll make sure I remember next time.

*Originally by Michael Barr, Montreal
Now picture this: you are driving down this [mountain] road, probably half asleep, you don’t know and don’t much care which country you are in and suddenly you see a truck bearing down on you. What do you do? *

Well, I’d slow down and watch for what side the truck stayed on and get out of it’s way.

Thanks. That’s a lot better. You can clearly see the diagonal arrown in that picture. It was just a dark rectangle in the other one.

I have actually crossed the Rwanda/Uganda border in both directions. Since you have to stop at the customs posts, there is a large parking lot. When coming south to Rwanda, the Ugandan post is on the right side of the road and the Rwandan post is about 50m away on the other side of the parking lot. Once you start into Rwanda, you just stay right. The difficulty comes from Ugandan vehicles being right-hand drive and Rwandan ones being opposite so it is hard to see on the curvy mountain road between the countries.

Cambodia switched from left-side drive to right-side overnight in a bid to cut down on car smuggling from Thailand. But no one in Cambodia can afford a new car, so now all of the vehicles are right-hand drive driving on the right side! Makes passing pretty hairy.