ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on February 17th, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Are Koreans Really the World’s Worst Drivers?

There has been an ongoing discussion in the Open Thread in regards to Korean drivers being the worst in the world.  Haven driven in many countries I can honestly say this is not true.  Koreans may be poor at following traffic laws by American standards, but that doesn’t mean they are poor drivers.  According to the most up to date OECD statistics South Korea ranks second in traffic deaths per billion vehicle kilometers out of the 29 countries that are members of the OECD.  However, the same statistics show that for road deaths per 100,000 people, Korea ranks fourth.  Guess who ranks one notch ahead of Korea?  Yes, the United States.

Image from here.

The way I look at this is that the Korean police do not strictly enforce traffic laws such as running red lights compared to the US police force.  So that is why the Koreans do rank first in the OECD for pedestrian deaths, with 4.61 per 100,000.  This far exceeded Greece in 2nd place with 2.86.  However, on the highways the Koreans do have their speed cameras and an an excellent Interstate system that makes travel safe.  Driving on the Interstate in Korea is not much different from driving in the US in my opinion.  However, I think that since the US is so big that it has a higher number of road deaths than Korea per capita because of people falling asleep at the wheel and the poor weather people drive long distances through compared to the shorter distances in Korea.  In Korea the danger for drivers is in the cities where the traffic laws are optional.  Koreans understand this and thus know that taxis and buses may or may not stop at light.  This is also why I always make sure all the traffic stops before crossing a street.  Pedestrians definitely have to be more aware in Korea due to the optional traffic laws.  As long as the Korean public does not demand the police strictly enforce the traffic laws nothing will change.  Really the biggest things that get to me are the guys who park their Bongo trucks in the middle of the road causing traffic to merge and come to a snarl and the crazy motorcycle drivers who weave in and out of traffic and run pedestrians off the sidewalk.

So clearly the Koreans drivers are not the worst in the world when they are not even the worst in the OECD.  The worst drivers I have seen are in Afghanistan with Iraq a distant 2nd.  This Wikipedia page tends to confirm this belief.  So many of the Afghans are on a narcotic of some kind it makes their driving erratic and even if they are not high most Afghans do not receive any formal driver’s training before hitting the roads.  Throw in the fact there is no way to enforce speed limits and this all leads to deadly driving conditions.  Driving in Korea can be frustrating, but it is no where near as bad as driving in a third world nation that has no traffic laws.

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  • Flunky Brewster
    6:07 pm on February 17th, 2013 1

    Koreans get into a lot of bad habits because there’s no enforcement of traffic laws. They run red lights and stop signs, refuse to pull to the side for emergency vehicles, and drunken driving must be a huge problem. But, again, there’s so little enforcement that who knows how many drunk drivers or speeders are out there? I just know that even if traffic is stopped at a red light that pedestrians still must too often scurry to the other side, even through crosswalks and school zones, because Korean drivers run red lights all of the time.

  • DMZDave
    6:32 pm on February 17th, 2013 2

    25 years ago there was no question that hands down, Koreans were the worst drivers anywhere. I’m sure that they have improved greatly over the past generation as an entire generation has had parents who drive. 25 years ago, most Korean drivers’ experience and driving habits were learned from the back seat of a Hyundai Pony taxi cab – not the best examples of how to drive. I used to joke that Koreans were willing to die for the right to pass a bus on blind curve. When we took our howitzers to the field, it was impossible to get there and back without some fool trying to pass a 5-ton truck pulling a howitzer and not quite making it. As the Korean speaking XO of an artillery battalion, I had many opportunities to visit the scene of accidents caused by an impatient Korean driver. One time I arrived to listen to the policeman at the scene explain to the Korean driver who had run into the side of our howitzer while passing that he didn’t have to worry because the Americans always paid a claim regardless of who was at fault. I joined the conversation a that point and asked the Korean police officer if he was familiar with old Korean Sok Dam (proverbs). Then asked him if he knew the one “Andae myun Kosangi tat” (if things don’t work out, blame your ancestors. He laughed and said of course he knew it. I explained that the modern version in Korea seemed to be “Andae Myun Miguki Tat” (If things don’t work out blame the Americans) and then added “But not today. We won’t make him pay for our howitzer but we aren’t paying for his car either” The policeman explained to the Korean driver that it wasn’t his lucky day after all. A few week later I arrived at the scene of another wreck and the same policeman was on duty. He shook his head as I approached and laughed saying only “Andae Myun Miguki Tat?” To which I replied not today either. He smiled broadly and said he thought I would probably say that and he explained to another bad Korean driver that he wasn’t going to be compensated for his bad driving after all.

  • Bob
    6:44 pm on February 17th, 2013 3

    LMAO that’s a good one :)

    Are Koreans the worst drivers? Nope, (Americans aren’t that good either might I remind you) However what I think needs to be done is it needs to get more expensive to own a car, and safety standards on vehicles need to go up (as in inspections). This would reduce the number of vehicles on the road (which is a major issue) and Koreans need to follow the traffic laws.

  • Onezime
    6:55 pm on February 17th, 2013 4

    “25 years ago there was no question that hands down, Koreans were the worst drivers anywhere.”

    15 years ago, actually. That changed at around the time of the World Cup when the government started enforcing the law concerning seat belts.

  • Kingkitty
    6:55 pm on February 17th, 2013 5

    Korea….one of the few countries of the world which a motorcycle zig and zags around your car and somehow its your fault if you hit it. Even the police will try to squeeze its little bikes in between your car and the cub four inches away.

    Bob and I am thinking you never driven in the states before to make this comparison. Americans go overboard for safety and those who are unsafe are easy prey for the American police. Your just bias because your a nut case….plain and simple

  • Onezime
    6:58 pm on February 17th, 2013 6

    Speaking of accidents, anyone remember the accident where a driver ran a USFK bus off the road on the highway, an accident which resulted in 4 (if I remember correctly) USFK members dying?

  • tbonetylr
    7:14 pm on February 17th, 2013 7

    Korean women are especially dangerous drivers. Just like blood types determine the personality of Koreans, gender determines their driving capabilities. Danica Patrick(female) wins historic pole for Daytona 500.

  • BBBBBBBBBBell
    7:44 pm on February 17th, 2013 8

    Related: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLuaPZWkvZ0

  • someotherguy
    8:06 pm on February 17th, 2013 9

    I’m not gonna say their the “worst” but their definitely up there with India and other developing nations.

    The problem with Korean drivers is they get tunnel vision. They firmly believe if they don’t see you or acknowledge your existence then you don’t exist and they have the right to drive as though you don’t exist. This is why you see them making turns without first checking to see if it’s clear or checking their mirrors before changing lanes.

    Korean guys somehow seem to think driving on the road is an expression of their manhood. They’ll often avoid using their turn signals so as to not give anyone a chance to cut them off or deny them the lane change / turn. Conversely if you use your turn signals then often the cars near you will try to cut you off.

  • Avatar of kangajikangaji
    8:31 pm on February 17th, 2013 10

    I used turn signals and hit the brakes and got behind the people that would speed up to change lanes…

  • jim
    8:50 pm on February 17th, 2013 11

    it’s not a matter of not knowing HOW to drive. koreans are, on the whole, technically excellent at operating motor vehicles.

    it’s a matter of not knowing WHERE to drive. like what the right lane is for. like what sidewalks are for. what those dashed white lines in the road mean. what constitutes an acceptable place to pull over and park one’s car.

  • Baek In-je
    9:02 pm on February 17th, 2013 12

    If I can get everyone reading this to follow one simple rule, my good deed for the day is done.

    NEVER BE THE FIRST ONE INTO THE CROSSWALK OR THE LAST PERSON OUT OF THE CROSS WALK.

    When I first moved to Korea, there were a few times where I was stuck in the middle of a crosswalk that was still green, with cars driving ahead and behind me.

  • Baek In-je
    9:05 pm on February 17th, 2013 13

    Jim wrote: “koreans are, on the whole, technically excellent at operating motor vehicles.”

    Technically excellent at operating motor vehicles?! Technically excellent at operating motor vehicles?!

    That is the most absurd statement that I have ever heard. Do you work at Arirang TV?

  • jim
    9:11 pm on February 17th, 2013 14

    #13, koreans park better (in parking stalls) and can navigate tight areas better than your typical american. not to mention the skill required to put a backhoe on a flatbed truck without using a crane.

    plus, they drive ridiculously close to each other all the time. it’s a wonder there aren’t more car accidents. which, by the way, always seem to be fender benders and never overturned vehicles.

  • 2ID Doc
    9:58 pm on February 17th, 2013 15

    When I served in the Division (late 80s) our ambulance platoon had a saying “It ain’t close unless we touch mirrors” They went through a lot of mirrors while I was there. I’m certain it has gotten better.

  • William
    10:12 pm on February 17th, 2013 16

    Even driving in USA at any speed is unsafe.

    Why? We all do not drive the same nor have the same education, nor is the education rigorous enough to have an impact.

    The result of many peole driving however they feel makes it mighty difficult to predict what one driver will do or what another will do. That unpredictablity is inherently unsafe, as the ability to predict the actions of others ahead of time is paramount in being able to take action to avoid an incident.

    Now pedestrians in Korea are mighty poor in awareness, SO MANY have zero awareness about them as they walk in and accross roads. some are daydreaming, some are in deep conversation, some simply do not look before crossing, MANY have their grill all up in their smart phone whaile walking accross roads and that is the number one thing in my opinion.

    Also, the way we live in Korea means you will do a lot of walking, increasing the number of situations crossing roads and that coupled with poor genral alertness is a killer.

  • J. Goard
    10:51 pm on February 17th, 2013 17

    It’s a subtle point perhaps, but we really shouldn’t be talking about “worse drivers” while looking at traffic statistics, unless we’re comparing groups of people within the same driving context (similar roads, similar traffic laws, similar weather). Korea doesn’t have terrible drivers — it has terrible *policing* in areas of the law related to reckless endangerment, and terrible *road design* for a car-dependent society. Put American city-dwellers under these conditions and see what happens.

  • LG DACOM Stinks, Royally
    11:03 pm on February 17th, 2013 18

    #14, regarding backhoes, I’ve seen that with my own eyes. It’s incredible.

  • Mr. Kim
    5:30 am on February 18th, 2013 19

    It’s pretty disgusting how the Korean police are completely oblivious to traffic violations in Korea. It’s almost a daily occurence that I witness a Korean policeman doing absolutely nothing when they see a traffic violation. It gets to the point that I think that there are no traffic laws in Korea, they are merely traffic suggestions that the Korean government asks everyone to abide by. People running red lights, mopeds driving on the sidewalks, cars with their emergency lights on while parked in the middle of a busy road, cars not yielding to an ambulance; theses are some of many traffic laws that I see Koreans violating on a near daily basis.

    Here’s my solution. These days everyone in Korea has a smartphone or in-dash camera on their car. The Korean government should create a website where citizens can upload video footage of traffic violations that clearly show the license plates of the violators. People who upload those videos should be able to receive a certain percentage of the fine that the violator should pay.

  • Baek In-je
    5:33 am on February 18th, 2013 20

    I publish a new cartoon on Korean society. You can click on my name and see it on my blog.

  • charliemarlow
    6:29 am on February 18th, 2013 21

    Highway safety statistics need to include deaths/miles driven.
    I would think terrain and climate (snow, ice, rain)should also be included.

  • Baek In-je
    6:47 am on February 18th, 2013 22

    “…deaths/miles driven.” What are you watching the Road Warrior?

  • guitard
    8:30 am on February 18th, 2013 23

    Mr. Kim wrote:

    It’s almost a daily occurrence that I witness a Korean policeman doing absolutely nothing when they see a traffic violation.

    Really?

    I’ve been living and driving in Korea for a couple of decades and I have very, very few recollections of seeing a Korean cop witness a traffic violation and not doing anything about it.

    The reason is because they are almost never in a position/situated such that they can witness the violations as they typically are just out going with the flow of traffic.

    If they would set up at an intersection, they could write tickets all day long.

    Now the illegal parking enforcement cops are a whole different matter. They can drive up a street where it’s illegal to park on the side of the road and take pictures with the camera on top of the vehicle and nail a dozen cars in a matter of a minute of two. And that’s 40,000 won each.

  • Kingkitty
    1:30 pm on February 18th, 2013 24

    I been pulled over several times usually the one car in a group of about 10…never could figure out why I was the one pulled over. But all the foreigner tricks work like acting like you have no clue what they are talking about or giving them way way too much information in English to include diagrams written on scraps of paper. Or the one time when I grabbed the cop by his hand and started to drag him towards the police station because I told my wife all Americans were bull crap and were acting like they couldn’t speak English……He was sort of right but my wife was about to beat the stuff out of him so he gave my license back and waved me on….like all the others….Its those damn cameras that I dont like

    Oh and Number 14….maybe they park better than you but I see they are experts are pulling over right in front of you blocking your way so they can pick up a fare or checking a text or just plain parking half way out in the road so they can run in and get another bottle of
    SOJU

  • dongsu
    6:02 pm on February 18th, 2013 25

    Koreans aren’t terrible drivers, they just fully embody the definition of passive-aggressive while behind he wheel of a car. Koreans are the most courteous people face to face, but when behind the curtain of their ridiculously dark tint they don’t back down to anyone. I was once a passenger of A korean buddy along with 3 other teammates from our basketball club and watched a guy cut us off on an onramp, then pull over when my buddy flashed his brights at him. The driver got out the car like he was gonna whoop somebody until my 6’5 whiteboy frame and 3 other 6ft plus koreans got out of our car.
    Some behavior can only be corrected by strict enforcement… or a good asswhooping.

  • Dr.Yu
    6:10 pm on February 18th, 2013 26

    Rather that strict legalism, korean culture abide by the common sence and pragmatism, which means that people are keen to tolerate some dregree of lawfulness as long as there are no serious damages or losses.

    This principle works in Korea because people respect minimum (or should I say basic?) law standards that assure that the society can have the least level of order and harmony necessary to survive as a civilized society ….

    Individualist minded people like the USA citizens can not understand this type of society because in their culture the strick enforcement of the law assures the least level of civility necessary for their society to exist ….

  • Flunky Brewster
    6:27 pm on February 18th, 2013 27

    26- “Common sense” says to drive through a red light and a crowded crosswalk across from a school? “Common sense” says that such driving doesn’t deserve a ticket or a suspended license? “Common sense” says to drive your motorbike like a maniac through crowded sidewalks and pop wheelies on icy side streets to deliver a couple of Egg McMuffins?

  • Onezime
    7:38 pm on February 18th, 2013 28

    ” The Korean government should create a website where citizens can upload video footage of traffic violations that clearly show the license plates of the violators.”

    They tried something like that a few years ago. Know what happened? People would camp out at intersections, take pictures of cars stopped a foot over the line or a film of cars not doing a full stop, and then run up to the car to blackmail the driver.

  • Leon LaPorte
    8:03 pm on February 18th, 2013 29

    Did I have a comment deleted and if so, why?

    …or was it another bad Korean driver thread?

  • Flyingsword
    8:08 pm on February 18th, 2013 30

    26. DR Yu, you are an idiot. It is not common sense to run red lights, drive on side walks and general put my life in danger because you are in some sort of hurry.

    Koreans driving is very selfish, drive like pre-schoolers. What ever I want to do is more important than anything else. I don’t know you so I don’t have to care about you…

    It is not common sense, it is anarchy!

  • Avatar of Leon LaPorteLeon LaPorte
    8:15 pm on February 18th, 2013 31

    29. OK found it. I just get paranoid when there’s a mod around with an itchy trigger finger. :razz: :lol:

  • jim
    8:44 pm on February 18th, 2013 32

    24, nah, my favorite hobby is parking in the driver’s side door of anyone who parks over the line. parking is a prerequisite of manhood imho.

    however, minus points for the koreans in not knowing where to park (again not the HOW but the WHERE). the right-most lane of major roads is a personal peeve, or the blatant double parking on market days. this and how often koreans pull out into traffic without looking first i think is why koreans avoid the right most lane in general. doesn’t bother me none; that’s my lane of choice.

  • Baek In-je
    8:48 pm on February 18th, 2013 33

    I will encapsualte the great majority Korean drivers in one sentence:

    Imagine that you took an 8 year old child and taught them the mechanics of driving and the rules of the road, then told them that they didn’t need to follow the rules if they didn’t want to.

  • jim
    8:54 pm on February 18th, 2013 34

    true story.

    a girl i knew from basic training had her first duty station (and adult life) at yongsan. she was still here four years later when i pcs’d in country. about five months after that when she was about to pcs she asked me if you needed to be licensed to ride a motorcycle in the states.

    i replied, “of course, yes”.

    her response: “what if i only drive it on the sidewalks?”

  • Dr.Yu
    9:00 pm on February 18th, 2013 35

    # 27, 30. Yes common sense …. a lot of people do it in Korea, so yes this is a common sense ….. :lol:
    You guys are just proving my point ….. simply cant understand something that is beyond your limited perspective … As I said before koreans are keen to tolerate some misbehavior because usually they are of minor offensive degree and we preffer
    to devote our strenght in something more productive cus life goes on, such as: we have to catch on Japan, turn kimchi the most popular ditch in the world, build nukes, make the first korean-american president of the USA, get an other peace nobel price, etc and I’m sure we can ignore some little details in the run for the sake of the big picture …

  • Flunky Brewster
    9:10 pm on February 18th, 2013 36

    35- Am I missing your point? You seem to be saying that Koreans view running red lights as a “cultural strength” and that it brings them together for other nationalistic ventures? Or are you just saying “You wouldn’t understand, it’s a Korean thing”?

  • Baek In-je
    11:06 pm on February 18th, 2013 37

    “Dr.” Yu,
    Koreans do not have common sense…that is the whole reason for this post. May I ask what kind of a “dr.” you are?

  • Are Korean Drivers The Worst? · Global Voices
    11:25 pm on February 18th, 2013 38

    [...] have often been pegged as bad drivers. ROK Drop blog debunked this 'Bad Asian Drivers' stereotype with [...]

  • kangaji
    7:20 am on February 19th, 2013 39

    Dr. Yu – that Americans are to invididualistic and need a legal framework to prevent crime is similar to what I’ve read in 이원복 Lee Weonbok’s Manhawa 먼나라 이웃나라 (Far Countries, Neighboring Countries) about the US and it was also present in his Manhwa about France. I think 집단두의 (collectivism) and 개인주의 (individualism) systems both had advantages and disadvantages. I’d like to point out that according to studies Americans from faith groups distrust atheists to a great degree.

    This is compared to muslims (a minority, ruling out it totally being on blasphemy) and the distruct approaches that of rapists. Atheists, not believing in a higher power, are not bound to a book based religion which makes me people wonder where they get their morale code from. The invidiualists, as you see them, in the US are scared of this increased individualism in selecting moral code for some reason. However, the atheist conviction rate is lower than the faith based conviction rate!

    Now let’s lump all Americans under one umbrella again and look at the entire population. The government (everyone loves the government) set up policies through laws passed by Congress (a council of genius technocrats who only think of the welfare of the people) that have resulted in the US having the highest incarceration rate in the world.

    However, in North Korea, which is more collectivist than South Korea, the world cannot get accurate statistics for how much of the population is imprisoned or in gulags. The problem there is clearly caused by what an objectivist would call a looter government which is an apples to oranges comparison with the US government.

    What I wanted to say is that passing more laws and increasing law enforcement and more and more and more government at some point doesn’t work out so well. Americans should come up with their own individualist culture based solution to this problem so Dr. Yu can’t say we’re jacked up because we’re throwing everyone in jail due to our individualist culture.

    Also, South Koreans might have some form of creating internal morality in addition to their faiths and laws that causes them not to sue the crap out of each other and throw lots of people in jail with zero tolerance policies. In North Korea this probably got perverted to be compatible with Kim Il Sungism taking advantage of the bad points of collectivism.

  • Glans
    7:40 am on February 19th, 2013 40

    To reduce all kinds of anti-social behavior, to promote all kinds of achievement, ban lead. Clean it out of buildings and out of the soil.

  • Dr.Yu
    8:07 am on February 19th, 2013 41

    Kangaji, you have addressed a point that I call “The paradox of the American freedom” which is: their excessive cult of freedom (as a concept) has created a situation where boundaries are being enforced by law to assure that freedom still exist in their country.

    There is no freedom in society without boundaries, and Rosseau addressed this point centuries ago, but the misunderstanding of this concept by the American people has come to a situation that today their freedom has to be limited by the law, as a symptom of their misconception of this concept.

    Freedom in society means boundaries and what I wanted to say in my previous post is that Korean society is in a position that people still respect their boundaries without the imposition of fierce legal frameworks (despite of some lawfulness from time to time and this happen everywhere) but American society lost this respect a long time, ago lured by a false and light concept of inconsequent freedom …..

  • John in LA
    10:37 am on February 19th, 2013 42

    I think part of the problem is MANY private car drivers in Seoul you see on the road are not everyday drivers.

    I’ve met and heard of many Koreans (males, not females) who own a car but don’t actually drive it everyday. It makes sense (time, stress, $) for them to just take the subway to work instead of driving.

    And if you don’t drive everyday, your driving skill obviously will atrophy.

    One guy I met told me after he got his job he bought a car but because of the stress of dealing with traffic, he just decided to take subway to work. He took his car on the road only for weekend getaways with this family.

  • jim
    5:24 pm on February 19th, 2013 43

    18, here’s my favorite. juggling the spare shovel ftw.

  • jim
    6:00 pm on February 19th, 2013 44

    41, running red lights is an example of how not to respect one’s boundaries. personally, i see traffic laws as a contract i have with all other drivers. if my light is green, i expect to only have to deal with cars on my road, not cars crossing the road. i stop at red lights to reaffirm other drivers’ trust in the traffic system.

    there is a careful balance between too much and too little regulation. i think even koreans agree with me when i say korean traffic laws are too highly regulated. (for instance, not every intersection needs its own left turn arrow – 비보호 should be the norm, not the exception.) but like many other things, koreans tend to pretend the problem doesn’t exist – case in point: police barely pay lip service to enforcing traffic regulations, and drivers pretend the light wasn’t red.

    this only feeds the national motto of “it wasn’t my fault”. another rokdrop reader reminded me of the old korean proverb the other day: 안되면 조상 탓 이다 (“if things don’t go your way, it’s your ancestor’s fault”). put in a more modern scenario: “it wasn’t my fault; i was drunk.”

  • dongsu
    8:51 pm on February 19th, 2013 45

    Im going to go ahead and defend America here and tell Dr. Yu his education has simply taught him take one simple idea and give it a complicated name. Your defending koreans tolerance of disorder in the name of collectivism when in realityv korean driving behavior is just plain selfishness. We americans are known as the great ndividualists and often labeled selfish and arrogant, but our laws simply and over regulation are simply the way you encourage a society to behave in a civil manner.
    Freedom is something that every person deserves until they prove their lack of respect for others’ right to live freely in a civil society. Whether its speeding, running a red light, stealing or murder, all are acts in which an individual decides to disregard another’s right to a free life. Why does america have the largest prison system in the world? Because selfish people who cannot respect other citizens rights need to be taken out of society.

    You say that koreans ignore these small infractions because they are focused on getting to the top. Well, I guess that makes sense, but what got America TO the top was its societal structure and laws agreed on by a democratically elected body representing the people. law + enforcement = civility. Civility shares its root with Civilize. When Korea figures this out they too can stop worrying that the rest of he world scoffs at their terrible traffic system and lack of law.

  • Flyingsword
    9:56 pm on February 19th, 2013 46

    Dr Yun, demonstrating the concept of Han, if a Korean does it it can’t be wrong because I am a Korean too.

    It is not common sense to run a red light and total my car and put my wife in the hospital…..

    Knucklehead.

  • tom langley
    10:54 pm on February 19th, 2013 47

    DMZDave, your comments brought back a lot of memories. I was stationed in Korea in 1979-1980 & I had lots of taxi rides in the backs of Hyundai pony taxis. What was even more scary was that if you were almost late to going to work & you told the taxi driver “balee, balee (hurry, hurry) & showed him a $5 or whatever to drive faster. Let me say I know what it feels like to be in a F-14 Tomcat in a dogfight, lol. If there is a empty space on a Korean road that a car will fit then a car will go into that space. I don’t know about now but back then there is no doubt about it that Koreans were the world’s worst drivers.

  • Bones
    11:54 pm on February 19th, 2013 48

    You folks seem to be forgetting something, Korea is not cheap, those Hyundai’s and Kia’s cost more in Korea than they do in US. The driving has gotten better because of Insurance, maintenance costs and dependence of the POV. Those camera’s will get you every time. I think that’s what took the wild-nest out of the Korea Driver.

  • Leon LaPorte
    12:26 am on February 20th, 2013 49

    Those camera’s will get you every time. I think that’s what took the wild-nest out of the Korea Driver.

    You’re forgetting there are warning signs before the cameras and they are pretty damn good at keeping their GPS’s updated with camera locations. What goes on between cameras can still get pretty wacky.

  • Flunky Brewster
    12:53 am on February 20th, 2013 50

    I’ll give Dr Yu kudos for at least trying to explain the Korean justification for what most foreigners see as anarchy on the roads. I may not agree with it but it is something that should be considered. Speaking as a pedestrian who has narrowly avoided death and serious injury many times on the Korean streets and roads, I would like to see a more serious attitude taken towards traffic enforcement by the Koreaqn police. But, as Dr Yu has explained, no one in the Korean society seems to want that to happen. Obviously nothing will change with this generation of drivers so maybe, in the future, they will finally crackdown on drunk drivers and those maniacs on the motor scooters delivering food. Do Koreans really need those Lotteria Barfoburgers so badly that it justifies driving a scooter at 100 kph through crowded sidewalks so someone 2 blocks away doesn’t have to stop playing computer games for 30 minutes and walk to eat lunch? Sometimes you wonder about the priorities.

  • Bobby Ray
    12:59 am on February 20th, 2013 51

    This here conversation existing tells me none of you all have been to Vietnam.

  • Baek In-je
    1:26 am on February 20th, 2013 52

    Imagine that you are in any city in America and riding your motorcycle or scooter on the sidewalk or through crosswalks where dozens of pedestrians are walking. What percentage of police officers who witness this are going to pretend like it just didn’t happen? Zero. Why?

    1. It is their job to enforce the laws.
    2. They are concerned about keeping the public safe.
    3. It is their F#$KING job.

    As a matter of fact, every police officer witnessing that would chase you down to catch you.

    Koreans do not follow the rules. It is a problem from the top of the government down to the lowest member of society. It is a problem from major crimes all the way down to throwing trash on the ground. You simply cannot get a Korean to do anything you try to make them do. This is why the Japanese soldiers and police used to cut the noses off Korean men during Japan’s colonization on 1910-1945.

  • guitard
    2:28 am on February 20th, 2013 53

    tom langley wrote:

    I was stationed in Korea in 1979-1980 & I had lots of taxi rides in the backs of Hyundai pony taxis. What was even more scary was that if you were almost late to going to work & you told the taxi driver “balee, balee (hurry, hurry) & showed him a $5 or whatever to drive faster.

    Those are (were) called chong-al (총알) taxis. Chong-al is the Korean word for bullet.

  • guitard
    2:29 am on February 20th, 2013 54

    Flunky Brewster wrote:

    I would like to see a more serious attitude taken towards traffic enforcement by the Koreaqn police. But, as Dr Yu has explained, no one in the Korean society seems to want that to happen. Obviously nothing will change with this generation of drivers so maybe, in the future, they will finally crackdown on drunk drivers . . .

    I’ve driven through many breathalyzer stops set up by the Korean police at night. And they are very strategic in the way they operate them.

  • kangaji
    2:55 am on February 20th, 2013 55

    #52: Hideyoshi Toyotomi planned Pearl Harbor? :roll:

  • Mr. Kim
    5:15 am on February 20th, 2013 56

    #28
    I’d rather have people blackmailing traffic violators while making the roads safer rather than having traffic violators continue endangering the lives of innocent pedestrians and other drivers.

    #37
    My guess is that Dr. Yu is a proctologist because he advocates being a pain in the ass when driving.

  • Leon LaPorte
    5:34 am on February 20th, 2013 57

    I can live without jackbooted thugs, US police style.

  • John in NY
    7:22 am on February 20th, 2013 58

    I thought drivers in Turkey were worse. My friend who was stationed there almost became racist against Turks b/c of their driving. Haha.

  • Είναι οι Κορεάτες οι χειρότεροι οδηγοί; · Global Voices στα Ελληνικά
    6:56 am on February 25th, 2013 59

    [...] έχουν συχνά στιγματιστεί ως κακοί οδηγοί. Το blog ROK Drop απομυθοποίησε [en] αυτό το στερεότυπο με στατιστικά [...]

  • Ariel
    9:48 am on March 28th, 2013 60

    Koreans are the worst drivers . Period .
    Koreans cannot use gas and brake pedal , let alone trafick signes .

  • Bobby Ray
    10:55 am on March 28th, 2013 61

    I heard some folks traffick drugs and other folks traffick humans but done never heard of anybody traffick signs.

  • Fahim
    8:36 am on June 16th, 2013 62

    I mean we as afghan use to had donkey so driving is new thing for us specially with US money actually we don’t have time to learn how to drive also our warlords sons don’t care about how they drive in the city roads,streets most of them are arm with AK47 so my friends don’t except more from us .
    here is some information about Afghanistan traffic law if face any accident whatever its your fault yes or not you must go to jail even someone hit from back must end up in jail .

 

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