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Why do Korean crosswalks even exist?
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schwa



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Location: sokcho

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just be careful & view the pedestrian crosswalks (the ones without signals) as a suggestion not a right. I have one in front of my house that I use daily. I always wait for a clear break both ways before stepping out, but more & more often now drivers are starting to stop & wave me across. I've been here a long time & thats a nice new development.

Many drivers are becoming more courteous but to insist or bank on all of them stopping would be insanity.

Korean traffic safety is definitely improving, but these things take time.


Last edited by schwa on Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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newb



Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

,.....

Last edited by newb on Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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tanklor1



Joined: 13 Jun 2006

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:33 am    Post subject: Re: Why do Korean crosswalks even exist? Reply with quote

Smithington wrote:
Honestly, why put white stripes across thousands of roads throughout the peninsula if they are to be ignored? Think of the money and manpower involved in putting down crosswalks. Every time I use a crosswalk (that is when it's not blocked by a car parked on it) I feel like I'm risking my life. I have cars fly up to me while I'm crossing and stopping mere feet from me. I've also had many cases where cars won't even stop even though I'm in the middle of crossing. They honk and fly past in front of me. Others stop only with the greatest of reluctance and resentment.

Honestly, if they aren't going to serve the function for which they are intended, why even bother putting them down?


Safety.
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fermentation



Joined: 22 Jun 2009

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had several narrow misses while crossing. After a while, you just say screw it and cross whenever and wherever you feel like it. When in Rome right?
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Steelrails



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Location: Earth, Solar System

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's weird because a lot of people in my small town are pretty anal about following the law regarding jaywalking.

I dunno, back home we started to have an epidemic of idiot college kids and young people who would just cross wherever because they knew the law was "on their side", not to mention the idiot cyclists who somehow get to enjoy all the privileges of the road, complete with holier-than-thou attitude, but aren't required to be licensed and insured.

At least in Korea it has the Darwinian logic of "Faster Bigger Thing Wins" so get the heck out of its way, even if it is a complete abomination of all things roady.

Driving in Korea is simultaneously way more stressful and way more relaxing. If you're in a non-crowded, easy-flowing environment, it can be nice because there isn't some iron-fisted band of federales ready to take you down the second you make a wrong move, instead you can bend the rules a little when common sense dictates it shouldn't be a problem. On the other hand driving through the big city can be a white knuckle experience.
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JustinC



Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Location: We Are The World!

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be interesting to compare Korean roads with those that have a similar traffic flow; are the more 'chaotic' rules responsible for more collisions or does the fact pedestrians are more unsure of their rights lead to more careful road users and less injuries?
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young_clinton



Joined: 09 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I've observed the crosswalks with thier signals are significantly safer than Jaywalking. That is even if Koreans tend to ignore them. I still think they are safer especially the ones that have lights on them.
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CentralCali



Joined: 17 May 2007

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:05 am    Post subject: Re: Why do Korean crosswalks even exist? Reply with quote

tanklor1 wrote:
Safety.


Walking past a construction site in Myeongdong some years ago, I asked my Korean companion what "안전 제일" on the signs with the crosses meant. Her response was, "Nothing. It's just decoration."
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CentralCali



Joined: 17 May 2007

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steelrails wrote:
I dunno, back home we started to have an epidemic of idiot college kids and young people who would just cross wherever because they knew the law was "on their side"


The funny thing about this is that those pedestrians are almost universally incorrect in their understanding of the law. It's a myth that "the pediestrian always has the right of way."

My hometown is a college town, also. When a new college opened up there, I think the hospital should've opened up a new emergency room too, owing to the number of new folks who couldn't be bothered to pay attention to the laws regarding jaywalking.

I share your stance on certain bicyclists. I ride my bike quite often; however, I obey the traffic laws. And I pay attention for morons, either of the ambulatory or mechanically-transported variety.
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Who's Your Daddy?



Joined: 30 May 2010
Location: The joy's in the ride.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When middle school finishes for the day all rules go out the window. The boys are all trying to impress and have no fear.

But to the OP: The crosswalk tells drivers where pedestrians should be crossing, without them they'd cross everywhere.
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matrix815



Joined: 21 May 2009

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

highstreet wrote:
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=6b6_1352573803



The video reminds me of this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e70fRb--zms
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TheUrbanMyth



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: It's not a superiority complex when you really are superior

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Korea, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The ROK's roads are well paved, traffic lights are functional, and most drivers comply with basic traffic laws. However, the Republic of Korea has a significantly higher traffic fatality rate than does the United States. Causes of accidents include excessive speed, frequent lane changes without signaling, running red lights, aggressive bus drivers, and weaving motorcyclists. You should be aware that motorcyclists sometimes drive on the sidewalks, and drivers of all types of vehicles do not always yield to pedestrians in marked crosswalks. It is safer to use pedestrian underpasses and overpasses where available...



In all accidents involving an automobile and a pedestrian or motorcycle, the driver of the automobile, regardless of citizenship, is presumed to be at fault.



http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1018.html


The above is from the website of a sub-department of the U.S Department of State. I'd say they are an authoritative/reputable source.

While they do note that drivers do sometimes not follow the crosswalk rules they clearly state that if the driver is in an accident he is presumed to be at fault.


As for pedestrian right-of-way here it is from the USFK 8th army

http://8tharmy.korea.army.mil/SOCKOR/pdf/USFK_Pam_385-2.pdf


Quote:
b. Pedestrians. Pedestrians have the right-of -way at intersections
and marked pedestrian crosswalks.



Exceptions and ignorant locals notwithstanding...those are the rules.
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sendittheemail



Joined: 15 Oct 2008

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to the US State department ROK Advisory page, you should be looking for under and overpass bridges, as crosswalks are not safe for human usage in Korea:

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1018.html#traffic_safety
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Scorpion



Joined: 15 Apr 2012

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Motor vehicles not stopping for pedestrians on crosswalks. Cars parking on crosswalks. Motorcycles on sidewalks. etc. Most behavior that we find to be obnoxious here can be put down to selfishness. Not in my little bubble of relationships = non-person. This explains not only the rude, inconsiderate driving culture but the cutting in line, pushing, littering, spitting, moving furniture at 3am, etc. etc.

Selfishness pure and simple.
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3DR



Joined: 24 May 2009

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Driving here is a joke. I live near City Hall in Incheon, and during the summer, I would ride my bike down the designated bike paths.

These paths are clearly marked with pylons but some idiot always thinks that the openings at the ends of the paths are perfect parking spaces.
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