|▲Picture of right turn in front of the crosswalk|
Reinforcement Standards for Right-Turning at Crosswalks, Ban on Right-Turns Without Checking
From July 12, 2022, the standards for enforcement of right turns at crosswalks have been revised. According to the amended regulations, drivers must unconditionally stop when they see a person, when making a right turn at an intersection. Until now, the rule was to only stop when a person is crossing the crosswalk, however, after the revision, a rule that requires the driver to stop while waiting for a pedestrian to cross, has been added. The reason the regulations were amended is because there have been many cases of pedestrians getting into accidents, while crossing the street. The fatality rate in traffic accidents in Korea is about 1 in 3 people. Pedestrians accounted for 34.9% of the fatalities in traffic accidents last year. This is 15.6% higher than the OECD(Organization for Economic Cooperation and Developement) member country average of 19.3%. Compared to other countries, the number of pedestrians suffering from accidents is high, therefore, the right-turning enforcement at crosswalks was implemented.
Although the total number of traffic accident fatalities has decreased thus far, the number of right-turn traffic fatalities has been nearly stagnant, with 139 in 2019, 131 in 2020, and 136 last year. Also, looking at various statistical data, it can be seen that the number and rate of deaths while walking is quite high. As the duty to stop in front of a crosswalk was expanded, the number of right-turn traffic accidents at intersections temporarily decreased by half. The National Police Agency announced on the 18th, that there were a total of 722 right-turn traffic accidents that occurred between July 12 and August 10, when the revised Road Traffic Act came into force, which brought down the percentage to 51.3% (761 accidents) from the same period last year (1483 accidents). Compared to the month before the law came into force (June 12 to July 11), the number of accidents decreased by 45.8% from 1333 to 722. The number of deaths has decreased by 30%, from 10 to 7. Police expect that pedestrian safety will continue to improve through the revised Road Traffic Act.
The key to the amended Road Traffic Act is to include 'when pedestrians are passing' as well as 'when they are about to pass' in the duty to stop in front of a crosswalk. Specifically, when a pedestrian intends to step into a crosswalk, when they raise their hand to indicate their intention to cross, or when they run quickly toward the crosswalk. This includes places where there is a pedestrian signal, as well as places where there is not.
The police explain that it is safe to step on the accelerator again, after checking whether there are people walking in the crosswalk, anyone trying to cross the crosswalk, or after the driver always stops when facing the crosswalk when turning right. Violation of the Traffic Amendment Act will result in a fine of 60,000 won and a fine of 10 points. If demerit points accumulate, your license may be suspended, and in the worst case, your license may be revoked. An official from the National Police Agency said, "We are promoting the policy by operating the guidance period until October 11."
By Kim Gi hwan,cub-reporter email@example.com
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