Driving side and driving side change : an overview of costs, benefits and economic implication

Van der Westhuizen, Bruwer Lourens (2016-12)

Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : The main goal of this study is to determine if there are any costs or benefits that can be associated with Right Hand Drive (RHD) countries and the Left Hand Drive (LHD) countries. This thesis first indicates world figures on driving side. This gives an overall view on how the world is divided between LHD and RHD countries. The research follows by focussing on countries that changed their driving side. The reason for changing driving side is investigated and assigned to either being economical, spatial or political of nature. Descriptive statistics on driving side are analysed (Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Gross Domestic Product per capita (GDP per capita), vehicle ownership and accident rates) to see if there is any difference in driving side with regards to economic indicators. The following chapter shifts to the African continent. Transport prices and costs in Africa are discussed, leading into final chapter. The final chapter considers the change of switching driving side for Rwanda and to make a possible recommendation. The thesis concluded that most of the countries in the world are LHD. Countries that changed their driving side initially did so because of political reasons but change later became driven by spatial and regional integration reasons. The research shows that there are no statistical significant differences between the wealth of RHD and LHD countries in the world and that vehicle ownership increases at a diminish rate with GDP per capita. There is no indication that the driving side of a country will have an effect on its accident rate and vehicle ownership increases at a diminishing rate with GDP per capita. Africa is still largely divided and there seems to be no difference between LHD and RHD African countries with regards to economic indicators. Transport costs structures are very different to those of European countries and are more labour intensive. There are projects that aim to increase the efficiency of transport in Africa, but the research shows a lack of acknowledging different driving sides in the continent. The research for switching driving sides in Rwanda reveals significant cost savings with using RHD vehicles rather than LHD vehicles and switching driving side would be beneficial. If the decision to switch driving side is purely based on vehicle operating costs, switching from LHD to RHD vehicles will be economically beneficial for Rwanda.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Die hoofdoel van hierdie tesis was om vas te stel of daar enige kostes of voordele bestaan wat toegeken kan word aan ‘n land wat aan die linkerkant van die pad bestuur of ‘n land wat aan die regterkant van die pad bestuur. Hierdie tesis begin deur te kyk na die wereld syfers met betrekking tot die stuurkant. Dit gee 'n geheelbeeld van hoe die wereld verdeel is tussen linkerhand stuur (LHS) en regterhand stuur (RHS) lande. Die navorsing volg deur klem te plaas op lande wat hul stuurkant verander. Die rede vir die verandering in bestuurkant is ondersoek en toegeken as ekonomies, ruimtelik of politiek van aard. Beskrywende statistieke van LHS en RHS lande word (Bruto Binnelandse Produk (BBP), Bruto Binnelandse Produk per capita (BBP per capita), voertuig eienaarskap en ongeluksyfers) om te bevestig of daar enige verskil in die stuukant met betrekking tot ekonomiese aanwysers is. Die volgende seksie skuif na die Afrika kontinent. Afrika word gesien as die verdeelde kontinent met betrekking tot stuurkant. Die laaste gedeelte van die tesis handel oor die moontlikke verandering van stuurskant vir Rwanda en gee ‘n moontlikke aanbeveling daarop. Die navorsing het getoon dat meeste van die lande in die wereld LHS is. Lande het aanvanklik hulle stuurkant verander weens politieke redes, maar verandering in stuurkant is later gedryf deur ruimtelike en plaaslike integrasie. Die navorsing toon dat daar geen statistiese beduidende verskille tussen die rykdom van RHS en LHS lande in die wereld is nie en dat voertuig eienaarskap toeneem teen ‘n verminderende koers in vergelyking met BBP per capita. Daar is ook geen aanduiding dat stuurkant ‘n invloed op ongeluksyfers het nie. Afrika is steeds grootliks verdeel en die data dui aan dat daar geen verskil, in terme van ekonomiese aanwysers, tussen LHS en RHS Afrika lande is nie. Vervoerkostestrukture is baie anders as die van die Europese lande en is meer arbeidsintensief. Daar is projekte wat daarop gemik is om die doeltreffendheid van vervoer in Afrika te verhoog, maar die navorsing toon 'n gebrek aan erkenning dat daar verskille in stuurkant is. Die navorsing wat gedoen is oor die moontlikheid van stuurkant verander in Rwanda dui daarop dat daar wel koste besparings is met die gebruik van regterhand stuur voertuie. As die besluit om stuurkant te verander gegrond word op die besparing in voertuigloopkoste, sal Rwanda ekonomiese voordeel trek om van stuurkant te verander.

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