A big project called "change over the road from left-hand traffic to right-hand traffic overnight" was carried out in Sweden in 1967

A lot of confusion will occur when the rules familiar from usual change greatly. Such a major reform has actually occurred in Sweden in 1967. In the past Sweden, the car was running on the left side of the road, but a big project to replace the left and right of the road according to other European countries was held, not only preparation for careful preparation over several years, announcement to the public A big accident does not occur thanks to education etc, and the result of zero dead on that day remains.

BBC - Capital - A 'thrilling' mission to get the Swedish to change overnight

In many European countries, cars have adopted traffic rules running on the right side of the road, but left side traffic was introduced in Sweden until the summer of 1967. For Norway and Finland and neighboring Sweden, this difference has been a problem not a few problems, especially in the vicinity of the border, traffic accidents caused by traffic on the left side frequently occurred.

In order to show such a safety problem and the presence as a member of the Nordic countries and European countries, the Swedish government at that time shifted the road traffic rules 180 degrees and shifted completely from the left side to the right side Has been decided. The new traffic rule begins on September 3, 1967 (Sunday), and this day is the Swedish word "Hogertrafikomlaggningen" meaning "change to the right traffic" or simply "Dagen H" "H Day") to be called.

The new rule will be applied all at once at 5 am on Sunday as rules will change when the citizens are active during the day. In addition to this, all vehicles except for some vehicles were prohibited from running from 1 o'clock to 6 o'clock on the morning of the day. Also, what's worrisome is that "Does not the driver get confused?" Especially when replacing only the side of the road with the position of the steering wheel of the car as it is, it seems to cause great confusion, but there was a big boost in the automobile environment unique to Sweden there.

At that time, many of the cars registered in Japan were imported from abroad, most of them were "left steering wheel" cars suitable for right-hand traffic. Also, in Sweden there is a car manufacturer Volvo, which produced cars for the domestic market, even that Volvo sold a lot of left-hand drive cars in Sweden that are the same as those for European countries That's right. Thanks to that, many of the Swedish citizens were accustomed to driving a left-hand drive car. In addition, because the car on the left steering wheel is still suitable for driving on the right side, even if the traffic rules were changed overnight, there was a situation that seemed not to cause so much confusion.

However, the date and time of adopting the new rule has been decided, but it does not mean that the world has not changed by 180 degrees without knowing when getting up in the morning. Road signs already installed on roads in the country, road signs such as arrows drawn on the road, reconfiguration of one way passages, etc. must be replaced so that they conform to the right traffic rules. The Swedish government decided to take a national initiative to achieve this one big project.

In order to greet H Day safely, it was necessary to update approximately 360,000 road signs in the country, but most of it had to be changed all at once on the day before H Day. For that purpose, local staff and troops were mobilized and work was done throughout the country. At the time, Yang rank Vist who was a traffic engineer also participated in such work and looked back on those days, "I worked very hard that night." Thanks to that, rank Vist's team completed work at the earliest timing in the whole country. "My boss was extremely pleased that our team was one of the teams who told Stockholm the first time to tell us that the work was completed, and our team was in the middle of the night We ate cake and drank coffee! "Rank bist says.

However, Arthur Olun who was a consultant for traffic administration in Helsingborg, Sweden, said the series of projects was extremely difficult. "The biggest problem is that there was a lack of time to prepare," Mr. Olung recalls, with no holidays, working from morning till evening, at one time forced to think about even cutting his own life It was said that there was. Mr. Olun who was chased by the huge preparations from one year ago and has no freedom at last finally got stuck and seems to have taken a two week trip to Africa to receive a strong recommendation from the doctor and break the connection with the work.

The budget invested in this project is 622 million Swedish kronor (current monetary value is 2.6 billion SCrona: about 33.3 billion yen). 360,000 road signs were renewed and remodeling was done with 9000 buses, which are public transport facilities, to attach the entrance to both the left and right sides of the car body. In addition, it was said that a campaign song was also made to inform H Day, and that song "Hall dig till hoger Svensson" (English translation: Keep to the right, Svensson, Russian translation: Svenson) He seems to have ranked fifth in the Swedish music chart.

Depending on various preparations, this project will result in success as a result. Among them, the number of deaths due to traffic accidents has decreased, and in 1967 when H-Day was held, the number of dead has decreased greatly. In the following year it turned to an increase, but after that it has been drawing a gentle downward trend overall.

Even campaign goods were made to make the project successful, and people were informed about it. In that time Sweden had only one channel for both TV and radio, and since the other media can be called newspapers and magazines, it seems that we could reach so many people easily that it can not be compared with the present day .

Article that informs traffic prohibition in principle from 1 am to 6 am.

It is a great strategy in 1967 that can be said to have been a great success, but many experts think that it is extremely difficult to carry out the same thing in modern times. At that time the transportation system was simple and the number of vehicles that were running was also small, but there are reasons that the modern transportation society is becoming complicated to the extent that it is not that time. In recent years, the Swedish traffic administration has said that the main focus is on reducing victims of traffic accidents, and since 1997 initiatives such as "Vision Zero" to zero traffic deaths are underway . In that context, Sweden is the country with the lowest percentage of traffic fatalities in the world, and there are only 260 deaths in 2016. Also, although cars have been the main players of roads, it seems that this is also promoting the creation of a mechanism for transportation that gives priority to pedestrians and bicycles.

By the way, this campaign song "Hall dig till hoger Svensson" made for this big project is a song like this.

The Telstars - Hall dig till hoger, Svensson. - YouTube

◆ Swapping the traffic rules that were also in Japan
In 11 years after the initiative in Sweden, the same major reforms are taking place in Japan as well. In Okinawa, which was placed under the occupation of the United States after World War II, long-term traffic was introduced for a long time, but six years after the return of Okinawa in 1972, on July 30, 1978, It was switched to the left side passage according to Japanese traffic rules.

From this day of operation of this major project, "730(Nanasanmaru) ", ​​the road infrastructure in the prefecture was completely replaced in 8 hours from 22 o'clock on July 29 th to 6 o'clock on the next 30 th. The state at that time is also recorded in the video, and under the plan of the civil engineering department of Okinawa Prefecture of the time, Cinema Okinawa is making a recording movie "Okinawa 730 Road Record".

"Record of Okinawa 730 Road" Cinema Okinawa 1977 Production - YouTube

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