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How to observe traffic regulations

When crossing an intersection

Drivers and pedestrians who are crossing an intersection must comply with signals and instructions given by traffic safety facilities and traffic officers. If competing directions are given by facilities and officers, follow the ones provided by traffic officers.

Comply with traffic signals
  • Traffic signals are basic safeguards against traffic accidents and social conven tions for effective communication.
  • Drivers who observe traffic signals expect other drivers to do the same. When this expectation is not met, traffic accident are likely to occur.
  • If you hastily try to cross right after the signal turns yellow or red, you could col lide with other vehicles entering the intersection from the other side in compli ance with the signal.
What does green signal for vehicles mean?
  • Vehicles may go straight or slowly turn right without impeding other vehicles.
  • Where there is an unprotected left turn sign, you may turn left as long as it does not obstruct other vehicles. If your unprotected left turn interferes with the traffic,it is considered that you have violated the signal.
Safety signs functioning as signals

Non-compliance with 10 of the safety signs, such as no passing, do not enter and stop, will be considered a violation of traffic mandates.

Safety signs functioning as signals

Why are intersections more dangerous?
  • At an intersection, pedestrians and vehicles frequently cross each other, and drivers' visibility is reduced. For this reason, some 20% of all traffic accidents take place at or around an intersection.
  • Despite the importance of strict signal observation and cautious crossing, many vehicles often hastily cross without carefully looking around, thereby increasing the odds of traffic accidents.
  • Drivers are prone to distraction as they try to pay attention to all directions.
Things you must remember at an intersection
  • Traffic signals allow effective communication and prevent traffic accidents. It is crucial to completely understand what each signal means.
  • As you approach an intersection, keep a sufficient safe distance and look two or three vehicles ahead
  • Even when the signal is green, make sure it is safe before you move. Always be alert to the possibility that vehicles or pedestrians can suddenly appear in front of your vehicle despite the signal.
  • When you near an intersection installed with traffic lights, move into a direction where you can clearly see the lights. If you are behind a large vehicle, remember to maintain an adequate distance as you are not able to see the light.
  • When a vehicle is turning, its rear wheels turn in a smaller radius than the front. Therefore, be especially careful when you are turning right so that your rear wheels do not hit a bicycle or a pedestrian.

If  you are entering an intersection behind a large vehicle, keep a sufficient inter-vehicle distance.

How to cross an intersection with safety
  • Check your target lane in advance and slowly cross the intersection. Pay attention to the cycle of traffic signals and proceed with caution so as to avoid impeding other vehicles.
  • Even when the light is green, do not cross if the traffic ahead is congested and your vehicle is likely to impede other vehicles.
  • When the signal turns yellow, sudden speeding to cross can lead to a colli sion. Slow down as you approach an intersection to prepare for a signal change.
  • A yellow signal following a green signal is not "the extension of a green signal" but "the beginning of a red signal." If you have not entered an in tersection when the signal turns yellow, stop at the stop line or before the crosswalk. If you have already entered, cross the intersection swiftly.
  • If you do not see any traffic officer guiding the traffic at a congested intersection and cannot effectively scan around, stop to make sure that it is safe to cross.

Even when the signal is green, do not enter a congest intersection if you are likely to impede other vehicles.

Yield and drive at an intersection not equipped with traffic lights
  • Yield to priority vehicles such as emergency automobiles.
  • Yield to vehicles that first entered the intersection
  • Yield to vehicles entering from a wide road.
  • Yield to vehicles entering from the road on the ride side.
  • Turning left: Yield to vehicles driving straight or turning right.
  • Going straight or driving right: Yield to vehicles already turning left.
  • Yield to vehicles coming from the side not installed with a stop or yield sign.

When two vehicles of the same road priority simultaneously enter an intersection, yield to the vehicle coming from the road on the right side.

When there are pedestrians

Many traffic accidents in Korea involve pedestrians

One of the differences between traffic accidents in Korea and those in advanced nations is that the portion of vehicle to person accidents is significantly higher in Korea. This indicates the lack of consideration for pedestrians among Korean drivers.

  • 2008 traffic accidents by violation type

    (Unit:person, case)

    2008 traffic accidents by violation type
    Category Total accidents
    (persons)
    Accidents while
    walking (persons)
    Percentage of
    pedestrians
    Death 5,870 2,137 36.4
    Injured 338,962 48,688 14.4

    (Data: National Police Agency, 2009)

Pedestrian traffic accidents occur the most when pedestrians are crossing a road. Crosswalks, where pedestrians are supposed to be safe, proved to be prone to accidents. It is imperative that drivers respect and protect pedestrian safety to prevent such accidents. Because drivers are likely to become lax and speed around a pedestrian overpass or a underground passage, jaywalking can lead to fatal accidents.

Types of pedestrian accidents graph

  • 2008 traffic accidents by violation type
    2008 traffic accidents by violation type
    Category Death Injured
    Number % Number %
    Total 2,137 100.0 48,688 100.0
    while
    crossing
    subtotal 1,378 64.5 27,733 56.9
    on the crosswalk 374 17.5 10,966 22.5
    near the crosswalk 135 6.3 3,156 6.5
    others 869 40.7 13,611 27.9
    Walking on the edge of the road 154 7.2 4,661 9.6
    Playing or working on the road 77 3.6 2,066 4.2
    Facing or showing back while
    walking
    205 9.6 4,619 9.5
    Walking on the sidewalk 44 2.1 1,875 3.9
    Others 279 13.0 7,734 15.9

    (Data: National Police Agency, 2009)

Pedestrians have the utmost priority on the road
  • The road belongs to pedestrians, not vehicles. The principle of pedestrian priority is also stipulated in the law. Drivers should drive as though all pedestrians were their family and friends.
  • Pedestrians are vulnerable compared with vehicles. Drivers must not think that pedestrians should yield to vehicles.
  • Pedestrians are not as agile as drivers expect them to be. When you see pedestrians, slow down by all means and proceed.
  • Because pedestrians let their guard down when crossing a crosswalk, they are entirely helpless when a vehicle rushes toward them.
Behaviors of pedestrians
  • They act without considering the possibility that drivers may not be able to see them.
  • They believe that drivers would slow down or change the course for them.
  • They are likely to jaywalk when the traffic is light or congested.
  • They sometimes attempt to cross, misjudging the speed of a vehicle coming from a distance.
  • They are not well aware that vehicles need stopping distance before they stop.
Behaviors of children
  • Even when they are holding hands with their parents, they are likely to suddenly run off or cross the road when they see something interesting.
  • Equating headlights with the eyes, they often act in accordance with belief that vehicles with big eyes can see them.
  • Because they believe that raising hand will stop vehicles, sometimes they raise hand and suddenly try to cross right in front of the traffic.
  • When dogs or balls go into the road, they jump in front of traffic to catch them regardless of traffic lights.
  • When they are engrossed in playing, they are not likely to notice approaching vehicles.

Pedestrians have the utmost priority on the road.

How to protect pedestrians
  • When pedestrians cross the crosswalk, stop at the stop line or before the cross walk so as to avoid impeding or endangering pedestrians.
  • Even when you are proceeding in accordance with traffic signals, do not impede pedestrians walking on the crosswalk.
  • Do not impede pedestrians who are crossing on or around the crosswalk not in stalled with traffic lights or equivalent facilities.
  • When passing by pedestrians in a safety zone or a narrow road, drive slowly while keeping safe distance.
  • When you see toddlers or children crossing the road by themselves or playing on the road, or the visually or mentally disabled crossing the road, take adequate safety measures or stop.
  • Be aware that the mentally disabled may opt to cross the road instead of using the overpass or underground passage. Stay alert and reduce your speed as you approach these facilities.
  • Because many pedestrians walk on side roads and children may run from be tween parked vehicles, it is important to stay cautious around side roads.
  • When you cross the road to enter such places as gas stations and parking lots, stop right before you enter to avoid impeding pedestrians and secure safety.

When you cross the road to enter somewhere that is not a road, stop before you proceed to avoid impeding pedestrians.

Center lines

Types of center lines

Center lines refer to solid or dotted yellow lines, or facilities such as median strips and fences placed to divide opposing sides of the road. Where there is a reversible lane, the center line is the far-left dotted yellow line as directed by traffic lights.

Center lines indicate the following
  • Vehicles may not cross a solid yellow line.
  • Where there is a dotted yellow line, vehicles may temporarily cross to the other side with great caution. After then, they must return to their original lane.
  • Where there are double center lines made of a solid line and a dotted line, vehicles on the side of the dotted line may cross over, whereas those on the side of the solid line may not do the same.

Where ther are double center lines consisting of a solid line and a dotted line, vehicles on the side of the dotted line may cross over and return.

Center line crossing
  • Center line crossing refers to actions that do not conform to Provision 3 of Article 13 of Road Traffic Act: "Vehicles and horses must use the right side of the center (center line when applicable) of the street (road when road and street are divided)"
  • Vehicle must not cross the solid yellow line of center lines. The center line crossing by the wheels, part, or cargo of the vehicle also constitutes center line crossing.

The center line crossing by the wheels, part, or cargo of the vehicle constitutes center line violation.

Danger of center line crossing

The fatality rate is considerably high for traffic accidents caused by center line crossing. This is why center lines are dubbed life lines, suggesting that one's life is on the line when crossing the center line. Center line crossing at a curve is particularly hazardous because greatly reduced visibility prevents other drivers from seeing the center line crossing vehicle.

Danger of passing

Passing requires longer distance and time than drivers think. To make it worse, passing often involves center line crossing, which considerably raises the risk of head-on collision. Many accidents including head-on collision and fender-bender take place when drivers are passing too close to the other vehicle or returning to the original lane.

Safe passing
  • Try to avoid passing. If it is inevitable, close pay attention to vehicles in front and oncoming traffic to see whether it is safe to pass.
  • Always use the left lane for passing. Decide the time and distance required for passing before you pass. The speed difference between your vehicle and the one in front of you should be at least 20km/h.
    Safe passing
    Speed
    gap
    (km/h)
    Speed of
    vehicle
    in front
    (km/h)
    Speed
    of your
    vehicle
    (km/h)
    Inter-vehicle
    distance (m)
    Required
    minimum
    distance (m)
    Required
    minimum
    time (second)
    Note
    Front Back
    10 50 60 44 32 516 32 Improprt
    60 70 58 44 784 32
    90 100 112 93 2,150 77
    20 50 70 58 32 350 18 Proper
    60 80 76 44 520 23
  • Crossing a solid yellow center line is highly likely to lead to a head-on collision: avoid it by all means.
  • If oncoming vehicles are approaching too fast, stop the passing.
Help other vehicles pass
  • When a vehicle behind you tries to pass, yield and help it pass by slowing down. Do not impede the passing by blocking or speeding up.
  • When a vehicle that is passing you encounters oncoming traffic because of mis judgement, check traffic behind you and slow down to help the vehicle return to your lane.
  • When a vehicle pulled over at the roadside tries to join your lane, yield and slow down to let it enter the lane with safety.

When a vehicle that is passing you encounters oncoming traffic, slow down to help the vehicle return to your lane.

Do not pass when:
  • The vehicle in front is trying to move left or pass other vehicle.
  • These is a vehicle on the left lane that is running side by side with the vehicle in front of you.
  • These is a possibility that you may impede oncoming traffic.
  • The vehicle behind you is trying to pass your vehicle.
  • The vehicle in front is stopping or slowing down at a crosswalk or intersection.
  • The vehicle in front is stopping or slowing down in compliance with instructions of a traffic officer or to prevent accidents.
  • A school bus with the sign that indicates toddlers or children are on board is driving nearby.

You cannot pass when the vehicle behind you is trying to pass your vehicle.

Do not pass where:
  • Intersection, in a tunnel, on a bridge
  • Curve of the road
  • Near the top or downward slope of the hill
  • Places with safety signs that prohibit passing in compliance with the head of local police agency

You cannot pass at an intersection or in a tunnel.

When you plan to speed up

Statutory speed
  • Speed limit on general roads
    Speed limit on general roads
    Category Speed limit
    general road (for each direction) Two lanes or more: maximum 80km/h
    Less than two lanes: maximum 60km/h
    Motorway Maximum 90km/h (minimum 30km/h)
In bad weather, you need to reduce your speed by 20 to 50%
  • When the road surface is wet with rain, or is covered by up to 20 mm of snow, 80% of the maximum speed should be applied.
  • When the visible distance is reduced to under 100m because of such reasons as torrential rain, heavy snow or fog, when the road surface is frozen or is covered by more than 20mm of snow, 50% of the maximum speed should be applied.

When the visible distance is reduced to under 100m because of torrential rain, heavy snow or fog, 50% of the maximun speed is applied.

Why drivers speed

Sometimes drivers speed without realizing it, but most times speeding can be attributed to impatience, vanity, time constraint, poor sense of speed, excitement or stress.

  • When drivers are in one of these mental states, they are prone to selfish driving, which leads to speeding, shorter inter-vehicle distance, and such habits as honking and flashing headlights even when vehicles in front are driving at the statutory speed.
  • In order to curb speeding and promote safe driving, drivers themselves must keep in mind that costs of speeding, such as fines, license revocation and accidents, significantly outweigh its temporary benefits.

Keep in mind that costs of speeding, such as fines, revocation, and accidents, far outweigh its benefits.

Danger of speeding
  • As illustrated in sayings like "Try to save 5 minutes and lose 50 years of your life," and "Kill speed and let men live, or let speed live and kill men," it is irrefut able that the faster you drive, the greater the damage will be when you get in an accident.
  • You crash harder.
    The difference between 60km/h and 100km/h is only 40km/h when you are driving. However, when you get in an accident, the difference is as much as the impact gap between falling from the fifth floor and the 13th floor. This is because impact is directly proportional to the square velocity; thus, when velocity doubles, impact quadruples.
  • Longer stopping distance
    Even when you slam on the brakes upon sensing danger, your vehicle cannot stop immediately because of the law of inertia. Driving speed 60km/h requires about 44m, and 100km/h 112m before a vehicle comes to a stop.
  • On a curve, speeding, combined with centrifugal force, can cause your vehicle to overturn or veer off the road.
  • The faster a vehicle goes, the more reduced the driver's vision and visibility become, which greatly hinders the driver's ability to make quick decisions.
  • Sudden steering or braking a fast-running vehicle on an expressway is likely to cause it to slide or overturn.

Because impact is directly proportional to square velocity, accidents caused by speeding are much more fatal than generally thought.

The necessity of safe distance
  • All drivers must keep the distance required to avoid crashing with the vehicle in front in case it suddenly stops.
  • Drivers must take account of certain possibilities, such as the sudden stopping of vehicles in front and accidents, in deciding how much distance is needed for safe driving.
  • Because safe distance varies depending on the speed of the vehicle, road conditions and weather, drivers should exercise their discretion in deciding their safe distance.

The necessity of safe distance

Your vehicle needs stopping distance to stop
  • Sudden braking does not instantly stop the vehicle. Stopping distance is the sum of thinking distance, the distance that the vehicle travels after the driver has seen the danger and before the brakes are applied, and braking distance, the distance traveled by a vehicle after the breaks are applied until it comes to a stop.
    Your vehicle needs stopping distance to stop
  • It takes general drivers about a second to recognize the situation that requires braking and step on the brakes. However, the time can be longer depending on driver age, personality, physical and mental state, etc.
  • Stopping distance is 1.5 times longer on wet roads and 3 times longer on iced roads, compared with normal dry roads. Also, heavy cargo increases braking distance.

Stopping distance is 1.5 times longer on wet roads and 3 times longer on iced roads

Centrifugal force and curves
  • Centrifugal force is "the outward force that draws a rotating body away from the center of rotation." Steering a vehicle on a curve creates centrifugal force. When centrifugal force is larger than friction resistance between tires and the road surface, a vehicle is likely to slide sideways off the road.
  • Centrifugal force increases in direct proportion to square velocity. The smaller the radius of a curve, or the heavier the vehicle is, the greater centrifugal force becomes.
  • When turning on a curve or at an intersection, vehicles are exposed to the risk of veering off the road or crashing into a guard rail because of centrifugal force. In order to reduce the impact of centrifugal force, you should avoid sudden braking and steering, and suffi ciently reduce your speed before you enter a curve.

Centrifugal force and curves

What is a standing wave phenomenon?

Standing wave refers to the inflating and rippling of the contact point of tires when a vehicle is driving faster than a certain speed. The speed is about 150km/h for regular passenger cars. The formation of standing waves increases the temperature inside tires, which can cause tire ripping. A significant portion of tire pieces on the expressway are the result of standing waves.

  • Since standing wave is likely to occur when tire pressure is low, increase air pressure to a level that is 10 to 15% higher than the standard when you plan to drive at a high speed.
  • When standing waves form, rubber on tire treads begins to hit the bottom of a vehicle as it falls in pieces. Thus, it is easy to spot standing waves if you pay enough attention.

What is a standing wave phenomenon?

TIP : Maintaining proper tire pressure

The importance of maintaining proper tire pressure

Maintaining proper tire pressure is an essential element of vehicle safety and tire durability. It is required that you
check the air pressure of tires on a regular basis (at least once a month).

Tire pressure standards
Tire pressure standards
Types Size Ply Rat
ing(P.R)
Pounds per
Square Inch
(PSI)
Note
Passenger car 185R 14 4 32 ~ 33 For driving on
the expressway,
increase
air pressure by
10%
Passenger bus 11R 22.5 16 120 ~ 130
Freight
vehicles
Small (2.5t) 185R 14 8 65
Medium
(2.5~8t)
7R 16 12 95
Large (8~11t) 11R 22.5 16 120 ~ 130
Danger
  • Higher than proper air pressure: tires are more likely to be ripped by external impact.
  • Lower than proper air pressure: insufficient tire pressure can lead to the abnormal turning of tires when the vehicle is running fast, which can lead to tire damage. It can also cause tires to come off the rim during a sudden turning.
Checking and adjusting air pressure
  • Adjust air pressure in compliance with a car manual from the automaker or the one recommended by the tire manufacturer.
  • f possible, measure air pressure when tires are cold. If tires are hot, you should take account of it in deciding the right air pressure. If measured air pressure is below the recommended level, it needs to be raised. Even if measured air pressure is higher than the recommended, it should not be reduced when tires are hot.
  • To prevent air leakage, replace valve step gap when you are finished with measuring.
  • As for tubeless tires, they are prone to air leakage from the connecting point between a wheel and a belt. Apply soapy water or its equivalent to the top of a valve or the connecting point to check for air leakage.
Stronger measures against fine payment delinquency
  • Under the revised Law on Penalties for Offenses against Public Order, stricter penalties are applied to fine payment delinquency.
  • If you fail to make a fine payment within a set period without having appealed the fine, an additional fine, maximum 77% of the original fine, will be imposed. Also, the government can forcibly seize your assets such as your vehicle to collect the fine in accordance with the "Examples of measures against national (local) tax delinquency."
  • If you fail to pay fine within a designated period without any particular reason, under Article 52-54 of Law on Penalties for Offenses against Public Order,
    • (1) Information on your fine payment or bad debt write-off can be provided to credit rating agencies;
    • (2) If you have at least three records of delinquent fines, a year has passed since the occurrence of each delinquency, and the sum of the fines is over 5 million won, your business permission can be restricted or suspended;
    • (3) If you have at least three records of delinquent fines, a year has passed since the occurrence of each delinquency, and the sum of the fines is over 10 million won, the court can order your detention.
  • In order to enhance law and order, aggressive fine collection measures including the forcible confiscation of wages or real estate are taken against habitual delin quents or those that owe a large amount of fines.

Drive in a designated lane

On general roads, there are lanes designated for different vehicle class
On general roads, there are lanes designated for different vehicle class
Road
(each direction)
Lane Permitted vehicles
Four lane
road
1 Passenger cars, small and medium passenger buses,
freight vehicles with under-1.5 ton cargo
2
3 Large passenger cars, freight vehicles with over-1.5 ton cargo,
construction equipment (only dump trucks and concrete mixer trucks)
4 Special vehicles, two-wheeled vehicles, bicycles, wagons,
construction equipment (except for dump trucks and concrete mixer trucks)
Three lane
road
1 Passenger cars, small and medium passenger buses,
freight vehicles with under-1.5 ton cargo
2 Large passenger cars, freight vehicles with over-1.5 ton cargo,
construction equipment (only dump trucks and concrete mixer trucks)
3 Special vehicles, two-wheeled vehicles, bicycles, wagons,
construction equipment (except for dump trucks and concrete mixer trucks)
Two lane
road
1 Passenger cars, small and medium passenger buses,
freight vehicles with under-1.5 ton cargo
2 Large passenger cars, freight vehicles with over-1.5 ton cargo,
special vehicles Two-wheeled vehicles, bicycles, wagons, construction equipment
Understanding a bus-only lane

Bus lanes are marked with single or double blue lines on roads that have at least 6 lanes. Dotted and solid blue lines are used to indicate whether entering and exiting are allowed. All vehicles and horses are prohibited from crossing a solid blue line. Vehicles permitted to use a bus-only lane may cross a dotted blue line, which can also be crossed by other vehicles and horses only when they are trying to enter or exit other lanes or exit their lane at the starting point of a bus-only lane. A single line indicates that a bus-only lane is in effect only during rush hour, whereas double blue lines signal that the lane is in effect all day except for during late night.

Permitted vehicles
  • 1. Large passenger buses for 36 passengers or more
  • 2. Commercial passenger buses for less than 36 passengers
  • 3. School bus registered for child transportation
  • 4. Vehicles designated by the head of local police agency
    • School and work passenger buses for 16 or more with predesignated routes
    • Passenger buses for international events, when its necessity is recognized. (limited to the event period)

Permitted vehicles

Bus-only lane on the expressway
Bus-only lane on the expressway
Category Details
Section Weekday From Busan starting point 378.2km (Osan IC) to 416.1km
(Yangjae IC): total extended length 37.9km
Weekend,
holiday, Lunar
New Year and
Chuseok holi
days
From Busan starting point 282.0km (Sintanjin IC) to
416.1km(Yangjae IC): total extended length 134.1km
Time Weekday 07:00 - 21:00
Weekend and
holiday
09:00 - 21:00
Lunar New Year
and Chuseok
holidays
From07:00 on holiday eve (for Saturdays, 09:00) to 24:00 on
the last day of holiday
Permitted vehicles Passenger cars and passenger buses for more than 9 passengers
(as for passenger cars and passenger buses for 12 people and less,
only those with minimum 6 passengers on board are allowed.)

Bus-only lane on the expressway

The following is considered lane violation
  • Driving in two lanes
  • Zigzagging between at least two lanes
  • Suddenly changing lanes and cutting off other vehicles
  • Crossing multiple lanes at a time
  • Changing lanes where it is prohibited
How to change lanes safely
  • When changing lanes (including left and right turning, crossing, reversing and U-turning), scan around and look back to make sure it is safe and proceed slowly while keeping a sufficient safe distance.
  • In order to prevent crashing with the vehicle behind you, use the turn signal 30m (100m for expressway) ahead the lane-changing point.
  • If there is possibility that you might impede traffic on your target lane, do not change lanes.
  • You are allowed to change lanes only where there is a dotted white or yellow line on the road; you are prohibited from changing lanes where there is a solid while line (inside a tunnel, around an intersection, on a stiff slope, etc.).
  • Comply with traffic signals or instructions given by a traffic officer. Do not cut in front of a vehicle that is stopping or running slowly for safety reasons.

How to avoid DUI

DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol)

Provision 1 of Article 44 of Road Traffic Act stipulates that "Every individual is prohibited from driving vehicles under the influence of alcohol," while provision 4 specifies that "those with blood alcohol content over 0.05% are considered under the influence of alcohol."
BAC (blood alchol content) 0.05%, the barometer of DUI, is generally observed among adult men who drank two and half glasses of soju (2 cans of beer, two shot glasses of hard liquor, two glasses of wine) half or an hour ago, however it greatly varies depending on the individual's alcohol metabolism, physical and mental state.

DUI

Danger of DUI
  • Because alcohol significantly impairs attention, judgement, and motor functions, drivers under the influence of alcohol are likely to err in operating a vehicle and thus cause accidents.
  • DUI, combined with vision impairment from the headlights of oncoming traffic, significantly raises the risk of accidents.
  • DUI is likely to lead to one-sided accidents in which a solo vehicle crashes into parked or stopped vehicles, standing objects on the road, other vehicles or pedestrians.
  • DUI is often accompanied by driving without a license.
  • The fear of penalties for causing a DUI accident may lead to another crime (half of hit-and-run accidents are caused by DUI drivers).
  • DUI accidents are often large-scale, such as the ones caused by center line crossing, with high fatality rates.
Administrative measures against DUI as stipulated by Road Traffic Act
Administrative measures against DUI as stipulated by Road Traffic Act
BAC Category 0.05~0.1% 0.1% and higher
No accident or accident that
caused property damage
100 days license suspension License suspension
Accident that caused personal injury License revocation
Refused to take breathalyzer test License revocation
Have minimum 3 DUI
records
Even when BAC is between 0.05 and 0.1%, license is revoked.
License waiting period 2 years (DUI three strikes)
Have minimum 3 DUI
records and caused accident
License revocation, license waiting period 3 years
Hit and run after DUI that
caused personal injury
License revocation, license waiting period 5 years
Penalty standards for DUI as stipulated by Supreme Prosecutor's Office
Penalty standards for DUI as stipulated by Supreme Prosecutor's Office
Category BAC DUI and DUI that caused
property damage
DUI that caused
personal injury
Criteria for arrest
0.05~0.09% Points 100
Booking without physical
detention (fine)
License revocation
(1 year waiting
period)
Booking without
physical detention
(detention
during
investigation)
- Those who have minimum
4 DUI records over the past
5 years.
- Among those who have
minimum 3 DUI records
over the
past 5 years, those
without a license or with
BAC over 0.1%.
- Those who have minimum
3 DUI records over the past
3 years.
- DUI without a license
0.10~0.35% License revocation
(1 year waiting period)
Booking without physical
detention (fine)
0.36% and higher License revocation (1 year waiting period)
Detention during investigation
Refused to take
breathalyzer test
More than three cases
of DUI, caused accident
License revocation (3 year waiting period)
Hit and run after causing
personal injury
License revocation (5 year waiting period)
Criminal punishment standards for DUI
2008 number of cases by types of parties involved
Category Penalties Related law
Drinking and driving Maximum three years' imprisonment or fine under 10
million won
(Made stricter since October 2, 2009)
Road Traffic Act
Caused traffic accident -Personal injury: Maximum 10 years' imprisonment or
fine between 5 million and 10 million won
-Death: Minimum one year's imprisonment for a definite
term
The Act on Aggravated
Punishment for Specific
Crimes

Rules for drivers

Protect vulnerable road uses
  • When you are driving through a puddle, avoid splashing especially around pedestrians.
  • You must stop your vehicle on the following occasions: when children are crossing the road without supervisors; when children are sitting, standing or playing on the road; when the visually impaired carrying a white cane or working with a guide dog are crossing the road; and when the mentally disabled who cannot use crossing facilities such as an overpass or underground passage are crossing the road.
Do not use a cellular phone
  • You must not use a cellular phone white driving except for the following cases.
    • When vehicles are stopping
    • When driving an emergency vehicle
    • When there is an urgent need to report crimes or disasters
    • If you can talk on the phone without using your hands
  • Cellular phone use has following effects on driving
    • It impairs the accuracy of steering
    • It distracts a driver, resulting in slow danger recognition
    • It increases average responding time in case of emergency
    • It poses as much risk as driving with BAC 0.1%
    • It quadruples the risk of traffic accidents

Do not use a cellular phone

Do not use DMB

As DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) devices become widely available, more drivers now operate or watch TV shows on DMB while driving. The use of DMB devices increases the risk of traffic accidents by distracting drivers and hindering their ability to adequately respond to obstacles.
According to the research on DMB watching while driving, drivers were 26.2 less likely to look ahead than average drivers, which resulted in slow danger detection, and their ability to avert danger after detecting an obstacle was reduced by 40%. Considering that most collisions are caused by drivers who neglect to look ahead even for less than a second, drivers must not watch DMB.

Use seat belts
  • Because seat belts greatly reduce the impact of traffic accidents, they reduce the risk of death and serious injury. Also, by keeping drivers in an upright, stable position, they help maintain good visibility and reduce fatigue
  • Drivers are responsible not only for their safety belt use but for the use by their passengers.
  • Infants and toddlers should be seated on a special protection seat before wearing seat belts.
  • The scope of obligation regarding seat belt use is as follows.
    The scope of obligation regarding seat belt use is as follows
    Type Scope of obligation
    Expressway and motorway Driver and all passengers
    general road Driver and person in the passenger seat
In following cases, you are not required to wear a seat belt.
  • It is not appropriate for such reasons as injury, illness, disabilities or pregnancy.
  • You are reversing a vehicle.
  • It is not appropriate for physical conditions such as kidney problem or obesity
  • Emergency vehicle on duty
  • Vehicle escorted or guided by police vehicles for protection
  • Vehicle used for election campaign, election and electoral management
  • Vehicle used for works that requires frequent entering and exiting, such as mail delivery or waste collection.
  • The driver of a passenger transportation vehicle is unable to make an intoxicated driver wear a seat belt

In following cases, you are not required to wear a seat belt.

What to do in case of a traffic accident

What to do in case of a traffic accident

Accidents caused by the violation of the 11 items listed above are subject to criminal charg.

Stop at once and take necessary measures
  • Either stop immediately at the accident point or pull over to the roadside, or other safe spots, to avoid impeding traffi c. Then turn off the engine.
  • Get out of the vehicle, check the injured and take appropriate measures.
  • Report to the closest police station the location of the accident, the number of deaths and the injured, the degree of injury, damaged items and the degree of damage and applied measures. However, if it is clear that only vehicles are damaged and necessary measures for safety and traffi c are taken, you are not required to report the accident to police.
Help the injured
  • If there are injured people from the accident, get help from others to take the injured to the hospital or give them fi rst aid until doctors arrive.
  • If there is an unconscious victim, remove blood and vomit so that they do not suffocate. If there is a victim who is not breathing, conduct heart massage or CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
  • While waiting for an ambulance, avoid moving victims with fractures or touching the fractured part because it can aggravate their condition.

Help the injured

Collect evidence while staying cautious about possible subsequent accidents
  • Once a traffic accident takes place, you should take a picture of the scene and mark the position of vehicles with spray or chalk to reasonably deal with the accident.
  • Find witnesses and write down the accident location and outline.
  • If drivers agree on a bilateral settlement, they should exchange written agree ments on accident details and the terms of agreement.
  • After the accident, take measures needed to prevent other accidents and avoid impeding traffic.

Collect evidence while staying cautious about possible subsequent accidents