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Spontaneous Order

In: The Economics of Rights, Co-operation and Welfare

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  • Robert Sugden

    (University of East Anglia)

Abstract

In Britain, drivers almost always keep to the left-hand side of the road. Why? It is tempting to answer: ‘Because that is the law in Britain.’ Certainly someone who drove on the right would be in danger of prosecution for dangerous driving. But British drivers don’t keep slavishly to all the laws governing the use of the roads. It is a criminal offence for a driver not to wear a seat belt, to drive a vehicle whose windscreen wipers are not in working order, or to sound a horn at night in a built-up area; but these laws are often broken. Even people who cheerfully break the law against drunken driving — a very serious offence, carrying heavy penalties — usually keep left.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Sugden, 2005. "Spontaneous Order," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: The Economics of Rights, Co-operation and Welfare, chapter 1, pages 1-9, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:palchp:978-0-230-53679-1_1
    DOI: 10.1057/9780230536791_1
    as

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