Wednesday, March 04, 2009

new traffic regs- a little clearer now

The Korea Times now has an article about the new traffic laws and it seems a little clearer:
The government, law enforcement agencies and civic groups have waged a campaign to reduce car accidents but have made little progress due to a traffic law clause that exempts drivers with comprehensive auto-insurance policies from criminal charges for car accidents. The Constitutional Court finally ruled Thursday that insured drivers should be criminally liable for accidents which cause ``serious injuries."

There are some "clearly-a-foreign-country" ideas:
But, the ruling will have many side effects due to its suddenness. Drivers might be indicted for inflicting grave injuries that would threaten lives and cripple victims with no chance of recovery, including the loss of eyesight or hearing.
Presumably, this is the goal.

Then comes a real problem with the new regulations:
Not only drivers but also police are confused over how to handle car accidents because of the vague definition of ``serious injuries" the court cited. And, Friday, the Supreme Prosecutors' Office announced a set of guidelines in this regard that are still not clear enough to alleviate the confusion....
[lawmakers will now need to] set a clearer definition of ``serious injuries." They also need to heed concerns that some victims may seek to extend their period of hospitalization as bargaining chips to receive more compensation. Doctors are required to issue fair and credible medical certificates for victims.
The 'serous injury' part of the law was one I missed, but I have a simple solution: Make it "any injury". Speaking as a poor driver myself, if you hit another car or person, you should have to defend your actions.


Daniel Costello said...

Hi Brian,

Your suggestion appears reasonable. However are liability laws and enforcement yet fully entrenched in Korea?

kwandongbrian said...

Hi Dan,

I don't think they are and I like the idea of a country not run by lawyers, but I think the new law is a step in the right direction.

In the past, I have tried to open my mind enough to accept Korean driving - I felt that I didn't like it merely because I was close-minded. There may be truth in that but Korean driving laws need some updating.