Estonia fears right hand drivers may risk road safety

  • 2014-08-04
  • From wire reports, TALLINN

Estonia is considering plans to allow right hand drivers in the country although some believe it may be dangerous for road safety

Current regulations only allow vehicles with control devices located on the left side of the vehicle to be registered.

 A previous court dispute between the European Commission and Lithuania banned the registration of passenger cars with a steering wheel on the right side. The same rules currently apply in Estonia, public broadcasting reports. 

But some believe the regulations may affect road safety. A statement from Estonia's economy said:

"These vehicles are the biggest threat on highways, where, in order to ascertain if there is a possibility to pass the car, one needs to verge to the oncoming lane.:

Estonia also filed its arguments and traffic safety considerations in the court process, which the court did not take into account.

The economy ministry said that since the Court's decision is directly applicable to all Member States, amending to the regulation was initiated and Interior Ministry is expected to approve of it by August 13.

The Ministry also notes that, since it has not been generally possible to register vehicles with right-hand steering system, and the share of vehicles registered is extremely small (less than 500 vehicles), there is no reliable statistics on the traffic hazards they pose. Therefore, it is difficult to assess the impact of the change.