On This Day

Sweden Switches to Driving on the Right Hand Side

Kungsgatan, Stockholm, on Dagen H (switch-over day)
Kungsgatan, Stockholm, on Dagen H (switch-over day)

Historical Context

The change known as "Dagen H" in Swedish was widely unpopular, and had repeatedly been voted down over the previous forty years. In a 1955 referendum, 83 percent voted to keep driving on the left.

In 1963, the Riksdag approved the change and established the Statens Högertrafikkommission (state right-hand traffic commission) to oversee it. The commission implemented a four-year education program, with the advice of psychologists.

The major arguments for the change were:

1) All Sweden's immediate neighbours drove on the right, including Norway and Finland, with which Sweden has land borders).

2) Most Swedes drove left-hand drive vehicles. This led to many head-on collisions when passing on narrow two-lane highways, which were common in Sweden because of its low population density and traffic levels.

Photo Info

Date taken: September 3, 1967
Location taken: Stockholm, Sweden

Related Events

  • 1967-09-03 Sweden begins driving on right-hand side of road (Dagen H)

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