Dagen H

It was exactly fifty years ago today – at 4 o’clock in the morning, to be precise – that Sweden changed from driving on the left side of the road to driving on the right. That’s despite a popular referendum which overwhelmingly opposed the move. It involved a huge amount of preparation, as one would imagine, and provoked many fears of widespread slaughter. Nonetheless it passed off amazingly smoothly; a credit, surely, to Swedish organisation and efficiency – if not to plebiscatory democracy. The country was experiencing an economic boom at the time – under the Social Democrats, naturally. Otherwise it might have been trickier. There’s a famous picture of ‘Dagen H’ (for ger – Right) here:  http://rarehistoricalphotos.com/dagen-h-sweden-1967/. It makes it look more chaotic than I’m told it really was.

About bernardporter2013

Retired academic, author, historian.
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