|The Great Ocean Road|
Shortly after I arrived in left-driving Australia, a 29-year-old visiting Frenchman was on trial for driving on the wrong side of the road (France drives on the right) hitting a 20-year-old driver and killing her. The judge gave the driver, a suspended 18-month jail sentence having compassion on him for having to live with life-long guilt, knowing he had ended the life of a young woman. Perhaps she would still be alive if the whole world just agreed to drive on the same side of the road.
|20-yr-old Asha Wood killed by visiting Frenchman|
Australia tries to help those of us who are "right-handed-driving-impaired" with signage from time to time. For instance, when you drive the windy Great Ocean Road (which we did last April), you will see signs along the way reminding you of where you are...in case you had forgotten! It really is easy to forget at times. There are so many gorgeous places to stop and look at along this two-lane road, (like The Twelve Apostles), that when you get back in your car, it is so easy to hop on the right hand side of the road without even thinking! I'm embarrassed to admit how often I do this, especially when there are no other cars on the road to give you a hint!
|Here I am in Ireland...they wrote notes on the streets just for me!|
Okay…so I grew up in the U.S. where traffic drives on the right side of the road. When I was a child, I grew up hearing my mother tell me over my shoulder, “Don’t forget to look both ways!”
“Mo-om,” I whined, “I am!”
“And remember to look to the left just before you cross,” she continued.
Well, now I find myself in Australia. Every time I come to a cross walk, I get so confused; my head spinning with so many questions…What side of the road are the cars driving on? Which way should I be looking? As the questions flood my mind, hesitation sets in as I struggle to make the correct decision. In spite of all of this, I can’t tell you how many times I just about stepped in front of a moving vehicle! After so many close calls, I finally started repeating to myself before stepping off the curb, “Look right.” A lesson I learned well from my time in Ireland.
|This guy looks just as confused as I am!|