Mauritius is a beautiful island with amazing beaches, and a rich vibrant history. People here drive on the left-hand side of the road just like the UK and Australia.
Currently, only about 30% of the world's countries and territories implement left-hand traffic (LHT), which accounts for about a sixth of the world's area, 35% of its population and 25% of its roads.
Mauritius is one of the 14 countries in Africa that follow the LHT rule. In countries where one drives on the left-hand side of the road, the cars are built so that the driver sits on the right-hand side of the car and changes the gears with his/her left hand. The steering wheels of these cars are located on the right-hand side, and they are known as right-hand drive (RHD) vehicles. People go around the roundabouts in the clockwise direction in such countries. Overtaking is usually done from the right, and it is not permitted to stop on the right-hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic. Most traffic signs facing motorists are on the left side of the road in these countries.
Carmoris.com – the leading online automotive marketplace of Mauritius – has a wide selection of RHD vehicles to suit every pocket and taste! The site offers not just vehicles, but also insurance, loans and spare parts for your vehicles at very affordable prices. It also helps you import the vehicles of your choice from Dubai and other Middle East countries saving you the hassles of liaisoning, documentation, transferring of ownership, shipping, etc. So, the next time you think of cars, trucks or bikes, do visit Carmoris.com for a whole lot of interesting deals!
History of Left Hand Traffic
Well before cars were invented, all traffic used to follow the left-hand traffic rule. Most people, being right-handed, found it easier to mount their horses from the left. It made sense to climb from the side of the road rather than from the middle, hence they chose the left-hand rule. At the same time, the right hand would be free for greetings or for defense (by holding a sword).
However, when Napoleon came to power, he began changing the left-hand rule to right-hand to suit his own requirements. As he was left-handed, he preferred to stay on the right side of the road with his sword in his left-hand, ready for attack or defense. So he introduced the right-hand system in countries or territories he conquered.
The French Revolution also contributed to popularizing the right-hand rule. The farmers in France were previously forced to travel on the right side of the road while the aristocrat travelled on the left side. Post the revolution, travelling on the right side became a symbol of freedom that quickly spread to other European countries.
Napoleon’s conquests spread the new right-hand traffic rule to Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Poland and many parts of Spain and Italy. The states that resisted Napoleon like Britain, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Portugal, kept left.
The French introduced RHT to its colonies in Africa, while the British and Portuguese colonies followed LHT.
Mauritius was successively colonized by the Netherlands, France and Great Britain, and finally gained independence in 1968. For its roads, it follows the British habit of driving on the left.
Visit Carmoris.com regularly for latest news, reviews and updates on vehicles, along with useful tips on car maintenance and other related topics. Here is a list of African countries and the side of the road on which they drive.
Countries that follow LHT in Africa
Countries that follow RHT in Africa