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Why do Korean crosswalks even exist?
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joesp



Joined: 16 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

to answer the initial poster question: "Why does Korea have crosswalks?"

The answer is because the laws are different regarding blame. If the pedestrian crossed on a crosswalk, the driver has the majority of the blame. However, if the pedestrian crossed where there is no crosswalk ... it's another story.

My only sources I could find was that if the pedestrian steps immediately into the road when the walk sign changes to green and gets hit, they assume 5~10% of the blame. Other cases, like assuming 50% of the blame, apply for when a pedestrian goes into the crosswalk when it's blinking, it then changes to red when he's half way across and then gets hit. If a driver simply careens over a pedestrian in the crosswalk, the driver is looking at 100% responsibility.

Believe me, they ignore the law a lot but when it comes down to *blame* they are like a surgeon with a scalpal because money, sometimes large amounts of 합의금 (settlement money) involved.

The rule that has let me have zero accidents riding my motorcycle everyday for 3 years (except for a back tire slipping on a steel plate junction in a work area) has been CYA .... the name of the game is CYA. I can't and don't want to try to lose my first-world safety awareness to drive like them. It would cause me to break out of my mold and increase my exposure to danger. Best we can all do is be extra careful and watch out for any possible accidents and move out of the way.

I don't know about culture or wishy-washy feelings of pro- or anti-Korean, but just stick to the law as well as expecting others not to. Protecting yourself is the best protection.

This thread should alert everybody to the need to CYA and know Korean crosswalk law.
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NohopeSeriously



Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Location: The Christian Right-Wing Educational Republic of Korea

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Korea is a special place. The rule of thumb of how to be safe is "cars first, pedestrians later".
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Taylormade



Joined: 31 Oct 2012
Location: Incheon

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the catch. I have seen countless crosswalks that have faded to almost nothing. The government hasn't bothered to paint them again. They can't be seen by oncoming motorists and I'm not even sure they're still tecnically crosswalks. What is their legal status?

Also, on numerous occasions I've seen roads partially retarred, but only on one side of the road. The tar covers over and completely obscures the crosswalk on that side of the road. On the other side the crosswalk continues to go out to the mddle of the road then abruptly stops. What exactly is the law in this case?
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TheUrbanMyth



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

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Captain Corea wrote:
I am NOT a fan of driving/driving styles here in Korea. It is one of my biggest pet peeves with living here.

That being said, I could have sworn that I just read some stats showing how Korea has halved (?) traffic fatalities in the last 15 or so years, and that they are now on par with places like the US.



[.


Do you mean this one?


http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/health_glance-2011-en/01/05/index.html?contentType=/ns/StatisticalPublication,/ns/Chapter&itemId=/content/chapter/health_glance-2011-8-en&containerItemId=/content/serial/19991312&accessItemIds=&mimeType=text/html


Quote:
As a result, death rates due to transport accidents have been halved in OECD countries since 1995 (Figure 1.5.2). Estonia, Iceland, Korea, Portugal and Japan have seen the largest declines, with a reduction of 60% or more since 1995, although the number of vehicle kilometres travelled has increased in the same period (OECD/ITF, 2010). Death rates have also declined in the United States, but at a slower pace, and therefore remain above the OECD average.
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jvalmer



Joined: 06 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The driving here is pretty easy if you are experienced. Driving 101 people, look ahead for potential hazards and have a few potential alternatives ready. It's like you're in a downtown core of a city and some car is just gonna pop out of that alley. Rule goes for anywhere.

Anyways, I saw that Chinese taxi video and that was normal in Korea until the mid-90's. You guys should have been here during the Olympics. Half you guys would have lost your lunch taking a taxi a few blocks. The driving and western style etiquette has gotten a lot better though. I kind of miss the chaos at the bus terminals though. It's just too boring now.

If you guys are first time travelers in the region, you are in for a treat... lol
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Smithington



Joined: 14 Dec 2011

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It drives me nuts when I see two cars parked on the crosswalk leaving only a narrow pace in the middle for pedestrians to sneak through. How can a child see oncoming traffic when its view is obstructed by two motor vehicles? And how can motor vehicles see a child about to emerge from behind a car several times its size?

How do parents allow such situations to continue?
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PatrickGHBusan



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Location: Busan (1997-2008) Canada 2008 -

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is all really simple folks: in Korea look both sides before crossing the road.
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Captain Corea



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PatrickGHBusan wrote:
This is all really simple folks: in Korea look both sides before crossing the road.


And when vehicles are illegally driving on the sidewalk, or through an apartment complex?
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darkjedidave



Joined: 19 Aug 2009
Location: Shanghai/Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Captain Corea wrote:
PatrickGHBusan wrote:
This is all really simple folks: in Korea look both sides before crossing the road.


And when vehicles are illegally driving on the sidewalk, or through an apartment complex?


I've turned into a grouchy old man in this situation and hit cars if they drive close enough to me when I'm in a crosswalk, its a small victory scaring the he'll out of the driver.
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Captain Corea



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

darkjedidave wrote:
Captain Corea wrote:
PatrickGHBusan wrote:
This is all really simple folks: in Korea look both sides before crossing the road.


And when vehicles are illegally driving on the sidewalk, or through an apartment complex?


I've turned into a grouchy old man in this situation and hit cars if they drive close enough to me when I'm in a crosswalk, its a small victory scaring the he'll out of the driver.


hahaha

I need a cane to shake at them.
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Scorpion



Joined: 15 Apr 2012

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always carry a pocket-full of coins to toss at offending vehicles that don't stop for me on the crosswalk. Very Happy

Screw them (and their paint jobs).
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Savant



Joined: 25 May 2007

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PatrickGHBusan wrote:
This is all really simple folks: in Korea look both sides before crossing the road.


You're assuming that the action of crossing a road in Korea is simple when in fact, it's not.

Even looking both ways and crossing at a safe moment does not guarantee that a Korean driver will actually stop for you unless you are fully prepared to be knocked over.
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PatrickGHBusan



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Location: Busan (1997-2008) Canada 2008 -

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Captain Corea wrote:
PatrickGHBusan wrote:
This is all really simple folks: in Korea look both sides before crossing the road.


And when vehicles are illegally driving on the sidewalk, or through an apartment complex?


Especially then.
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PatrickGHBusan



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Location: Busan (1997-2008) Canada 2008 -

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Savant wrote:
PatrickGHBusan wrote:
This is all really simple folks: in Korea look both sides before crossing the road.


You're assuming that the action of crossing a road in Korea is simple when in fact, it's not.

Even looking both ways and crossing at a safe moment does not guarantee that a Korean driver will actually stop for you unless you are fully prepared to be knocked over.


Oh come on now....this is still crossing the street! I have two kids and I simply was extra careful when crossing the streets in Busan. People down there drive like madmen (less so than 10 years ago but still) and I was never knocked down or hit.

Keep your head on a swivel and be extra careful. That is basic pedestrian rules 101 in Korea.
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Savant



Joined: 25 May 2007

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PatrickGHBusan wrote:
Savant wrote:
PatrickGHBusan wrote:
This is all really simple folks: in Korea look both sides before crossing the road.


You're assuming that the action of crossing a road in Korea is simple when in fact, it's not.

Even looking both ways and crossing at a safe moment does not guarantee that a Korean driver will actually stop for you unless you are fully prepared to be knocked over.


Oh come on now....this is still crossing the street! I have two kids and I simply was extra careful when crossing the streets in Busan. People down there drive like madmen (less so than 10 years ago but still) and I was never knocked down or hit.

Keep your head on a swivel and be extra careful. That is basic pedestrian rules 101 in Korea.


There have been numerous occasions (read as every time) when I've been using specific crosswalks in Seoul where I've given plenty of notice to a driver that I'm crossing and he/she had plenty of time to slow down or stop but yet those drivers think that they can pass me before I've fully crossed their path.

I've had to check my stride in mid motion to stop myself from hitting cars that pass by me by a matter of inches. Back home I could do this without worrying but here sometimes it's a game of chicken with the drivers.
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