Right old les­son in his­tory

Herald Sun - Motoring - - ROADSIDE ASSIST -

I read your story about which side of the car we drive on and how we got there. It’s all about safety con­sid­er­a­tions. If you were sit­ting on the left, next to the kerb, when you pulled out the driv­ers com­ing be­hind you could not see your hand sig­nals — there were no in­di­ca­tors in the early days. It’s the same for ap­proach­ing traf­fic when turn­ing right. And when chang­ing lanes it would have been harder to do a “head check”, an es­sen­tial with­out wing or door mir­rors, and it would have been tougher to check for safe over­tak­ing. Peter Mor­rey, email What an in­for­ma­tive his­tory les­son, in­clud­ing the in­for­ma­tion on Napoleon.

SIT ON THE SAFER SIDE

The only rea­son I can see for the side of the car the driver is lo­cated is safety while over­tak­ing. Look­ing at the his­tory of where we sit, Cze­choslo­vakia started plan­ning to drive on the right in 1925. Hitler also changed Aus­tria over af­ter tak­ing con­trol in 1938 and Hun­gary changed to the right in 1941, dur­ing World War II. Napoleon re­quired the coun­tries he in­vaded to use the right side and that’s why Hol­land drives on the right, though all its colonies used the left as can be seen in In­done­sia to this day. The last Euro­pean coun­tries to change to the right side of the road were Swe­den in 1967 and Ice­land 1968. The for­mer Bri­tish colony of Burma changed to the right in 1970 — a lot of buses in Burma pre­date the change and this causes a lot of in­juries to pas­sen­gers at bus stops. Daryl Bud­geon, email

BUCKET LIST RE­VIVAL

I liked your ar­ti­cle in the Cars­guide about the Good­wood Fes­ti­val of Speed on a num­ber of lev­els, par­tic­u­larly the clos­ing re­marks about putting it at the top of the bucket list. In 2007 I sought your ad­vice about choos­ing be­tween the Fes­ti­val and the Re­vival his­toric meet­ing at Good­wood — you un­equiv­o­cally rec­om­mended the Re­vival, which we went to and en­joyed very much. So, on that ba­sis, maybe we bet­ter pen­cil in a visit to the Fes­ti­val of Speed in the near fu­ture. John Pohlman, email Don’t use pen­cil, use bright red ink. The Fes­ti­val has im­proved mas­sively and its role as Bri­tain’s 21st century mo­tor show makes it a must-see.

IN­VEST, NO. EN­JOY, YES

I am think­ing about buy­ing a Ford Fo­cus RS from a mate but I’m won­der­ing whether this car is likely to ap­pre­ci­ate in value in the fu­ture. If I bought the car I would just put it away. It has trav­elled 21,000km. Is this the right sort of a car to buy for an in­vest­ment? Kim Bowen, email No one should buy a car as a po­ten­tial in­vest­ment, as noth­ing these days is go­ing to ap­pre­ci­ate like a Fal­con GTHO Phase 3. Far bet­ter that you buy the RS to en­joy it.

Ink it in: Good­wood Fes­ti­val of Speed

war­rants in­clu­sion on your cal­en­dar

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