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driving on the wrong side of the road

I love research so much, it's ridiculous. I have a story bunny and now I know a whole lot about New Zealand's stance on imported Left-Hand Drive (driver's seat on the left) cars.

New Zealand's traffic keeps left, like the UK, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, and India, rather than keeping right like the US, most of South America, China, Russia, and most of Europe (blame Napoleon) (more at wikipedia). Many countries don't allow other-hand-drive cars. According to a 2007 Canadian study, RHD cars in a LHD country are significantly more likely to crash in the first three years. Presumably it's harder to see traffic hazards in the wrong-side driver's seat.

New Zealand, a keep left country, mainly requires RHD cars, but was worn down by the classic car collector's groups, and as of April, 2010, allows LHD cars 20 years or older. I don't know what the rules were in 1999/2000, but guess that there were hardly any LHD drive cars then.

So I have a little more sympathy for Liv Tyler and her driving issues.

Wish I'd spend as much time actually writing...