In this supposed land of liberty, freedom is our core value. Yet the very idea of “freedom” is meaningless if we are thwarted at every attempt to exercise that freedom. Here I am, an American citizen, living under what is supposedly the freest Constitution in the world, and I am consistently denied the right to drive on whichever side of the road I prefer to drive on.
I have many good reasons for preferring to drive on the left. I find it much easier to determine where the edge of the road is. I can safely drive much closer to parked cars on city streets. If I have business to transact with someone on the sidewalk, such as a newspaper vendor or drug dealer, I can simply roll down my window, rather than awkwardly lean across the passenger seat. I attribute the astonishing growth of the Japanese economy in the late twentieth century mostly to the Japanese habit of left-side driving.
But why should I even have to state my reasons? I want to drive on the left side of the road, and under a truly free system of government, that desire should be sufficient.
I am not asking for anything unreasonable. I have no wish to interfere with anyone else’s rights. If you honestly believe that it is in your best interest to drive on the right side of the road, then you should do what your conscience tells you. All I ask is that you extend left-hand-side drivers the same courtesy. Let the driver decide.
Is this not the land of freedom? Is not that liberty the very thing that makes America great? I appeal with confidence to the American people’s sense of fair play: I ask only the same freedom of choice that right-hand drivers demand for themselves.
Quintus Adolphus Pfender,