17 Aug 2009

Samoa's PM calls for support before controversial road switch kicks off

2:00 pm on 17 August 2009

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, has called for support for government efforts to safely introduce the road side switch next month.

The prime minister has declared September 7th and 8th as public holidays for the start of the switch to driving on the left, with all nightclubs closed and the sale of alcohol banned.

Tuila'epa has also urged village mayors or pulenuu to provide security for new road signs already being installed around the two main islands of Upolu and Savaii.

The call follows reports of two villages deciding to stop vehicles that will be travelling on the left side of the road to show their opposition.

The prime minister said the current speed limit of 56 kilometres and hour will be reduced to 40 kilometres an hour to make sure every motorist will take time to learn and get used to the new side of the road.

Road humps have also been built on temporary basis to slow down drivers.