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'No crashes reported' as Samoan drivers switch road sides

Samoans passed a major driving test when the tiny South Pacific country became the first in decades to switch its traffic from one side of the road to the other - without any crashes reported.

Officials urged the public to stay vigilant, warning that the risk of accidents could increase in coming days if drivers become complacent before the new road rules become second nature.

After months of preparations, the early-morning switchover from right to left went without incident and in an atmosphere of national celebration.

The government made the change to bring Samoa in line with Australia and New Zealand, where some 170,000 expatriate Samoans live and from where it is cheaper to import cars than from right-side driving countries in Europe, and the United States.