Dear Korean Drivers

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John Venerikson
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Joined: 08/13/2009 - 12:36
Dear Korean Drivers

Dear Korean drivers, I have been driving for 5 years now is Korea, and finally, I have gone mad. That  said, I would like to share with you some driving tips before I go GTA on you.

1) When merging it is okay to approach the speed limit and blend in with the traffic. There is no need to stop, wait, and then proceed to bother everyone. You can do this by simply speeding up on the on-ramp and merging like it is supposed to be done. If you are on the road, please take the lane furthest away from the on-ramp and allow other drivers to do the same as above. I know you all love traffic jams but you surely will be in a car accident a few minutes later and will have all the time in the word to  relax so merge with some speed please.

2) Regarding accidents, perhaps since Korea is one of the worst driving countries in all of the developed world, and more children die in car accidents than any other way, you should learn to use baby seats or just seatbelts even. I know you love your kid but letting them hang out their windows while driving a 4 wheeled guillotine around is probably not the best way to show you care. So show them you care and make safety a priority.

3) And as for your own safety, I know all you adults love watching gag shows that are as funny as a dead baby on your GPS/TV's but, again, considering the driving record here in Korea, perhaps it is best not to watch TV while driving. I know you were watching TV at work and you don't want to miss anything, but your home is just 5km away-or 90 minutes-so please just wait until you get to the pork restaurant to start watching again. Also, please stop talking on your phone while driving. I love doing 30 in a 60, I really do, but some others behind me may not so show a little consideration for others and at least approach doing the speed limit.

4) Parallel Parking. How many first generation Korean drivers does it take to parallel park? None, they learn this the second generation. So do not even try to do this. Just pull in head first and leave your butt hanging out so people can't get by. I love that. Why inconvenience yourself when you can just not care about others. Brilliant. Every great country is founded by this very principle. I also reccomend double parking as paying a dollar at the parking lot that is surely just 10 seconds away is a waste and forget parking around  the corner. You can't miss anything that is on TV. So park wherever and not care. This shows great confidence. I wish I could do this. Point for Korea.

5) When turning off a street, try actually turning from the right lane if turning right and not from two lanes. Just a suggestion. Again, I love the narcissism here and not caring that you are blocking a lot of people behind you, but by slowing down in the left lane just a little and then turning so you dont have to slow down more is kind of harmful to the 3483973973957 other cars trying to get wherever. So please, get into the right lane, slow down and turn. Dont slow down just a little and turn from the left lane. I know, you were told by your parents that you were special and could do whatever you wanted without thinking about other people but I am just asking you try this.

6) When driving on the highway and even on city streets, the left lane is for people who want to drive the speed limit. It is not a lane for first class customers who want to leisurely get from A to B. That said, if you are approaching a light and there is a lane free, you do not need to pull into that lane if after the light turns green you are going to drive 20km under the speed limit. Guess what, others will just pass you and go into that lane anyway. Stay in your lane and follow 50 feet back from the car in front of you as you do. Thanks.

7) Ajjumas-what can I really say here?

8) Lastly, you guys break every other law so if the light is green and you are wanting to turn and see no cars coming, turn for the love of God. I admire the patience but some of these lights here in Korea take forever and are set up at turtle crossings in the middle of nowhere so just go.

 

So that is it for now. If you have any other tips for drivers here feel free to share them. It is never to late to learn how to drive-as we have seen here. Good luck.

Dear Korean Drivers
BusanGuy
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Joined: 08/16/2010 - 17:30
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

A good thought, however could have been said with far less words. Cute satire but a bit redunRant.

John Venerikson
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Joined: 08/13/2009 - 12:36
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

Always a critic. This was just for fun. I love that there are rules that people don't follow. Gets me to work in 15 minutes instead of 25. Try driving like I do here back home. I would be without a license in a week. Drive fast, have fun, but be smart!. Happy travelling.

Calicoe
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Joined: 01/21/2012 - 11:38
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

Hahahaha - love your list.   We should add:  speeding through a crosswalk while pedestrians are still crossing the road.   It would definitely be helpful, if they could find the time, not to do that, lol.

John Venerikson
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Joined: 08/13/2009 - 12:36
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

You are right. I totally missed that one. A sign turning reen for a pedestrian means wait 10 more seconds for  all the cars running the red light to pass. Nice one Calicoe.

Travis Kemp
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Joined: 12/21/2009 - 17:58
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

i agree fully, driving in korea was a chore. but driving in KL now thats a catastrophy

dude777
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Joined: 04/08/2012 - 20:14
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

I do tend to believe a Korean friend of mine who reminds me cars and ownership of cars is a recent thing - and yes, I am pretty sure Americans and Europeans were rubbish in the early days. (And let's be fair, you can still meet some truly awful and dangerous drivers in these countries).
 

Think with Korea the thing that gets me is the almost 100% tunnel vision approach to driving. Look, there is my side road to turn into - I will just turn and not even consider the oncoming car or pedestrians halfway across the junction.

You see this everywhere. Watch how people crowd the bottom floor elevator entrance, then look genuinely shocked when they barge into those people who (rightly) expect them to be standing aside so they can leave. It happens every time and I even see the same workers do this day after day. 

Another great one is the belief putting the hazard lights on means you can park anywhere. Although again, to be fair, many drivers feel this way in European cities too - especially mothers dropping off their kids at school.

So maybe it just needs time. Although the tunnel vision approach is unique and as dangerous as it can get. 

John Venerikson
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Joined: 08/13/2009 - 12:36
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

The hazards one made me laugh. A friend of mine and I joke about this all the time. We do the mock sorry hand raise like Seinfeld did when joking about this. That said, that is another one as well. The people who cut in front of you and put on the harzards like they are sorry or saying thank you. Sure, you really care. You dont even have the courtesy to ask to cut me off-you just do it but are thankful for that?

And you are absolutely right about the drivers. This is a first generation group of drivers. Most of us on here watched our parents drive our whole lives before we got behind the wheel. Here, they learn how to "drive" at a school.

The other problem with drivers here of course is simply the mentality of Korea. It is a very individualistic country. You do what you want. Make noise in your apartment. Let your kids run around restaurants. Do whatever you want in your car. This is Korea. Part of the charm actually. I love people dont bother you here, but I do wish there was a little more mindfullness regarding the people around you. But other Koreans dont care about that so all good. It is their country. Happy motoring.

Droid
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Joined: 06/15/2010 - 20:47
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

I've been driving here for 8 years. Have you seen the one where they pull up to an intersection and are turning right but put their left turn signal on? You missed one of the more dangerous one's as well... driving at night with no lights on and many cars seems to have nonfunctioning brake lights. The one you mentioned about turning right from 2-3 lanes over to the left... I especially like it when buses do that. 2 things you may not have known about. In regards to TV watching. They had actually passed a law that stated taxi drivers were not allowed to watch tv while driving. The drivers got together and challenged that law... successfully! Welcome to ass backwards world! The second thing, if you can believe the balls on these people, the taxi drivers had petitioned the government to allow them to drink a certain amount of soju WHILE ON DUTY because they worked long  hours and didn't have enough time to get drunk afer work. Amazingly, they lost that one. To me, something the drivers surely could not fathom, the government should have used that list to revoke every taxi licence from every person on the list.

robertpusan64
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Joined: 03/28/2011 - 11:40
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

well drivers in korea  basiclly just look ahead they do not look behind them if you are behind them they think you should stop      they do not use the mirrors of the cars   they do not  keep the space distance that will allow cars to stop so you can see many rear end jobs traffoc laws are more or less enforces by cameras not police cars driving in traffic  however one good things is police stop all cars to see if someone is drunk driving this is a great thing   However taxis stop suddenly and people walk in street randomly   so i take advange of koreas  great public transportation system    also finding parking in pusan is very hard and expensive    i heard this excuse in many countries people drivie selfishly and recklessly due to no car culture  i mean   20 years ago korea did not have many private cars only the very rich had one  its just an excuse  and a bad one    if someone thinks like that they neeed to put on a daiper until they grow up and be mature  a car in the wrong hands is a deadly weapon   driving is a  privilege not a right   all this being said if a driver hits a person walking in korea the law is very strict must more then in on usa       when i was a high school student  i took a drivers Ed class we watched the movie red asphalt     the teacher even took it one more step   he took us to a morgue where the bodies of people killed in car crashes go .  showed us to shock us we were shoocked   but u know    a few months later one class mate got a sportscar for his 16 the birthday and a few months later hit and a power pole ater drinking and died .   people need to remember that driving is a privilege not a right and drive as if people walking on the street or in the other cars are their family members or friends  . Then  driving would be nice  

mattsid
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Joined: 09/15/2009 - 15:13
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

Driving here is fun. It's like a real life video game with no lives.

shiner
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Joined: 08/04/2009 - 07:32
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

http://koreajoongangdaily.joinsmsn.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=2952309

This happened on Tuesday. A 25-ton truck plowed through a group of cyclists training for an upcoming event, instantly killing 3 women and severely injuring 4 others. They had a safety van following them but the truck hit the van so hard that it rammed it 100 meters into the cyclists. Why? The truck driver was watching TV (DMB) on his dashboard. 

Travis Kemp
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Joined: 12/21/2009 - 17:58
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

saw this article in the star newspaper down in kuala lumpur.  the case of the taxi drivers winning the right to watch tv in their cars came to mind.

its inexcusable. there is no reason. as with the video i saw of dogs being dragged behind cars in seoul and busan. the punishment for stupidity should fit the crime. if he doesn't take himself out of the gene pool someone else should do it.

John Venerikson
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Joined: 08/13/2009 - 12:36
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

"Koreans are bright  fastworking hardworking and clever" according to Robert. Some, perhaps, but most run around the track like a horse with blinders on with no clue that what they are doing has an impact on others. This is the opposite of being bright and clever in my books. If people stopped at a red light instead of trying to "make it" and then getting stuck in the middle of the intersection, thus, blocking everyone going the other direction, traffic would flow. This saves time. But during rush hour, intersections are  always blocked with cars. This is total nonsense. You make one light but then at the next 2 lanes has turned into one because some car was trying to make the light. So now you are behind in time. Being not only aware of what is going on around you but also courteous to other drivers is something worth caring about. Saying they just dont care is not true. I think they dont do just that, think. Clueless drivers does not mean they do not care. Ignorace and arrogance play a bigger role here.

John Venerikson
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Joined: 08/13/2009 - 12:36
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

Brutal! It is amazing that the government does not crack down on people who are watching TV, using phones, or have kids moving around the car when driving. I like driving here because there are no police to worry about but when you are leading the pack in car accidents, you would think car accidents and all the deaths attributed to them would be a priority of the government. 

mattsid
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Joined: 09/15/2009 - 15:13
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

"Drivers whose BAC is between 0.1 and 0.2 percent get from six months to a year in prison or are subjected to a fine ranging from 3 million won ($2,661) to 5 million won. "

Wow. With fines that big nobody ever again will touch a drop of alcohol and drive.

Droid
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Joined: 06/15/2010 - 20:47
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

" I like driving here because there are no police to worry about" You do understand that is the number one reason why driving here is so bad? Th police don't do there job. It's the reason for many shitty things that go on here. When people back home go on about driving laws being too strict, I tell them to  come to Korea. You'll get a good example of what happens when the police don't enforce driving laws.

John Venerikson
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Joined: 08/13/2009 - 12:36
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

Yes Droid. I do understand the lack of police doing there jobs is a problem. But having witnessed my parents drive from a young age and now personally driving for over 20 years I do not need police to make me a safe driver. So I like the lack of police handing out tickets.

There are many issues here. One problem here is this country are all first time drivers-new if you will. They learn from a lame school hell-bent on making money and that is it. I talk to my wife about certain things like the left lane for faster cars and  so on and she never learnt this. Also, phones and people watching TV are big problems. On top of this, the attitude people here can do whatever they want and not care about their neighbors puts things over the top. Mind's here are so one dimensional but with driving you must be keenly aware of what is happening around you. Many Korean drivers lack this skill. They see what is in front only. Depth perception is a skill developed when young but most dont realize a space does not mean it is empty when a car covering a certian amount of space per second will be there soon. They just move. So I think there are many problems here with regards to driving well. It is not just the police that is for sure.

 

robertpusan64
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Joined: 03/28/2011 - 11:40
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

I have a California Drivers License . I had an international Licence it has expired . You can not make an international lilicese by mail  While taking the Driving test in Korea is it possbile to take the written part of the test in English . In Calif Koreans may take the written part of the test in Korean . California offers the written part of the test in any language you may want to take it in . Korea is trying to promote itslef as being an international country and foriegn friendly country so i wonder if it is now possible to take the written part of the test in English ? thanks for information     Talking about Calif police when i was Univ student I was speeding  and the police stopped me I said Good afternoon sir .   He put his nightstick to my head and told me next time I see you speeding I will beat the shit out of you    I said thanks you sir .  He walked back to his car . He did not give me a ticket . In USa policemen are very powerful alwasy deal with them in yes sir no sir  yes maam  no maam yes officer they like power if you give them politeless they may not ticket you .   

sinparam
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Joined: 03/08/2011 - 13:16
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

I have a California Drivers License . I had an international Licence it has expired . You can not make an international lilicese by mail  While taking the Driving test in Korea is it possbile to take the written part of the test in English . In Calif Koreans may take the written part of the test in Korean . California offers the written part of the test in any language you may want to take it in . Korea is trying to promote itslef as being an international country and foriegn friendly country so i wonder if it is now possible to take the written part of the test in English ? thanks for information     Talking about Calif police when i was Univ student I was speeding  and the police stopped me I said Good afternoon sir .   He put his nightstick to my head and told me next time I see you speeding I will beat the shit out of you    I said thanks you sir .  He walked back to his car . He did not give me a ticket . In USa policemen are very powerful alwasy deal with them in yes sir no sir  yes maam  no maam yes officer they like power if you give them politeless they may not ticket you

Man what's up with your periods (or lack thereof) and spacing between sentences? Can't you use punctuation the least bit properly?

Alright, I'll give you free grade one English lessons. After a sentence has ended, you put a period (.). And then you press the "space" key so that there is a space between the period which ended your last sentence and the new sentence you just began.

crudler
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Joined: 04/03/2010 - 14:28
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

Korea is trying to promote itslef as being an international country and foriegn friendly country so i wonder if it is now possible to take the written part of the test in English ? thanks for information

 

It is possible to take the test in Konglish.  If you're familiar with Konglish, you can probably figure out enough of the questions/answers to get a passing score, though there are a few questions that are incomprehensible.

robertpusan64
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Joined: 03/28/2011 - 11:40
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

Tks   but  eye know dat .   Problem is that my computer is old and jams and if i press caps button too much its goes to korean mode              Another thing is I use phone to write sometimes .  And another thing is that when writting part of my screen is  covereed by some spam so i can not see what i wrote to I can not correct it .  All that being said writting is an art  not using pereouds   can be seen seen as some kind of a style making the writing wacky wonderful winning  bright brilliant brave boyish   writiting is an art like a painting   not all should be the same     anyone with a high school education can write a nice blog or essay or poem but its more then dat to make the stars shimmering sparkling stunning  supersunny  sonic   

teachkorea21
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Joined: 05/24/2010 - 11:16
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

I took the Driving test in English, but the questions did not all make sense...

 

Today driving to work, was cut off by a woman driving a huge "minivan"

She cut off the guy in front of me by turning left into traffic without a light, just turning in front of a car coming strait down the road, and when I went into the right lane she eased over as if she was going to take them both and drive straddling the center line down the road. I eased over and pulled up beside her and guess what...

SHE WAS ON THE FREAKING PHONE!!!!!

I hate driving in California because so many laws are no longer enforced and it has become pretty freakin embarrassing, but Korea is just bumper cars...

Did you see the news were the woman in the big black car ran down a schoolgirl in the school yard... and accelerated when she hit her cause she was freaking out...

John Venerikson
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Joined: 08/13/2009 - 12:36
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

One of the most fascinating things about drivng here is people just expect others to get out of their way.Driving, walking-whatever. I am coming and I am so special so out of my way. I wish I could drive like I walk here and just run into people who are too special to look where they are going. Sad about the school girl. The number one way children die in Korea is being hit by cars or being in a car accident. Pretty sad! This stat was from a couple years ago, though. Not sure if it is still true but hard to believe this would change with more cars than ever on the roads here.

Droid
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Joined: 06/15/2010 - 20:47
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

"Not sure if it is still true but hard to believe this would change with more cars than ever on the roads here." Nope not true at all. It's actually sadder. Number one cause of death for Koreans between the age of 10 and 39 is suicide. However, according to statistics, you are 3 times more likely to die by car than in the US.

John Venerikson
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Joined: 08/13/2009 - 12:36
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

Interesting stat. I think Korea leads all OECD member countries in suicide. Personally, though, I was referring to children-car accidents is the number one way children die in South Korea. I think I said that. Maybe not. But suicide is another social ill that needs to be adressed here. It is definately a huge problem.

robertpusan64
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Joined: 03/28/2011 - 11:40
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

the cold hard facts  is that most people in korea dont care about the traffic driving issues . If they idid they would follow the traffic laws but do they ?  if they cared they would pressure the goverment to have the police inforce the laws .They would pressu pressure the government to raise taxes to hire more police . Korea has one of the lowest police ratio to populationion   When Koreans want to do something they can do it fast . Koreans are bright  fastworking hardworking and clever . I solves the IMP  problem very fast . A few weeks ago some cow in usa was shown to have mad cow within hours  usa beef was no longer beieg sold in korea . What people have mentioned about the traffic may be true but to most people in korea its simply not that important otherwise they would follow the traffic laws and solve this issue    

dude777
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Joined: 04/08/2012 - 20:14
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

The problem is Robert, that 'not caring' shows lack of manners and common sense. You have to care when moving around in a heavy metal box or on a motorcycle which oh, so easily can kill. What does it say about a person if they don't care?

There can be no reason at all for driving at breakneck speed on sidewalks on motorcyles, as I have witnessed many times. One clown must have missed me by inches - and he came at me from behind, meaning I was totally unprepared. One move by me.....I shudder to think what would have happened.
 

Doing things fast invariably gives quality issues - and there were buildings collapsing in Seoul due to this, with many casaulties. At our apartment complex the wallpaper was not stripped or cleaned off, the new paper just placed over the old paper. Proud workers stand having done 50 apartments in less than a week....they are now back 6 months later due to peeling paper and serious issues with fungus, grime and mould. It is not impressive and is a huge waste of money. 

Maybe all we need to get through is that person you are about to mow down or drive off the road could indeed turn out to be a friend or relative?

In fact, with all the points you raise, maybe we should all just slow down a bit!!

 

 

 



 

 

 

Sweatcold
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Joined: 08/22/2010 - 16:46
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

There's a reason I won't ever drive in Korea--I'm far too observant and the stress would age me by a year every month. 

Surprised the original poster forgot to mention the "Warning; approaching photo radar zone" signs, thereby rendering the concept of photo radar completely useless.  They really should just install speed bumps every 15 metres in Korea.  That's the only way to reduce traffic accidents.

John Venerikson
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Joined: 08/13/2009 - 12:36
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

LOL Ya, and then people slow down to 40 in a 60 zone. And as for speed bumps-I dont think there could be anymore of them already. Up Dalmaji Hill, from the MacDonalds to Starface, there are 17 of them. Drive around the country and in the middle of nowhere there is a speedbump-and a traffic light for cows I surmise. But there are no cows. Very strange! People always say, throw logic out the window when questioning things here and just accept it. Pretty much true.

Panamajoe
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Joined: 05/08/2012 - 17:36
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

My first post here.

I was warned that driving here would be very scary and dangerous.  I find it a bit challenging but not particularly scary or dangerous.

I lived in Panama City, Panama  (Central America) and learned what scary and dangerous really is. They had an amazingly high death rate due to traffic accidents that was 50% PEDESTRIANS!

My head is on a swival, I drive for everyone around me, and have been able to deal with crappy skills, agressive drivers mindless drivers for the last 18 months.  This is great practice for good drivers to "watch out for the other guy".  It isn't fun but is much easier to deal with than the Panamanian "super agressive" style.

Thanks for the forum!

mattsid
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Joined: 09/15/2009 - 15:13
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

"Manners and Common Sense" are very much western concepts. The fact that the people don't conform to your norm, doesn't mean that they are doing something wrong in their own heads. Of course probably don't like this, and it certainly irritates the hell out of you and me alike, but when in Rome...

In the meantime some intersting stats here about OECD death rates. Korea does mighty well for itself.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&ved=0CIkB...

robertpusan64
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Joined: 03/28/2011 - 11:40
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

I agree witrh you 1000 percent but what i want to saw is unless you raise taxes to put more

boots on the street ( cops ) there is no way to control the traffic . However a new president will be

come to power later this year . So perhaps if people take action somethings can be changed

 Koreans need to pressure the government . You know the traditional markets and mom and pop

markets put pressure and this sunday may 13 and may 27 All the big markets will be closed .

This traffic condition will not change unless Koreans see it as important . Do they ? But with

a new president coming to power . If enough people complain maybe some things can change    

John Venerikson
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Joined: 08/13/2009 - 12:36
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

Yes, when in Rome to be sure. You should see my on the road. WATCH OUT! I am watching TV, talking on the phone, listening to music, smoking, checking out the girls and speeding all at the same time.

That said, I witnessed another annoying thing I forgot to write the first time-the person who goes on the gas, brake, gas, brake, gas, brake... People, just take your foot off of the accelerator and coast a little. Dont rush to the car ahead, slow down rush ahead, slow down... Everytime you tap the break it puts in a chain of events behind you. Most times the brake is not necessary. Thank you.

As for a new president coming to power, I do not think this will help. Koreans hate the police. People here show no resepct to the police at all. Thus, have no power to do anything. Not sure how you change that. I once saw a chase where a cop was after a scooter. The scooter would not stop. Finally, the cop pulled along side the guy and grabbed the handle bar. The guy stopped and started yelling at the cop. He got on his phone and told the cop to shut it and wait. The cop did. The guy then drove away a few minutes later. It was like a 5 minute chase up on Dalmaji Hill. In Canada, you get tossed to the ground if you dont stop for the police. Here, you get on teh phone, yell, then leave. Pretty amazing.

Turlbo
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Joined: 04/17/2012 - 10:22
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

Last night as I was walking home I had the green walk light and it was run straight through by a driver who then turned left through a red light.  Fortunately there was not much traffic but I was still infuriated by it.  Also I pointed to the driver as she was doing it and she just waved at me.  This morning I went to the big police station in the morning to report this.  They asked if I had a picture which is the only way I could report it.  Their excuse for not doing more is that they cannot be everywhere, which is a point I cannot argue.  However I did ask them if I should throw stones at the car and they said, "No, do not do that."  I was also informed that if I did they could make a case against me, because there maybe a black box recorder in the car. 

John Venerikson
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Joined: 08/13/2009 - 12:36
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

Yes, the police here are very lazy. They would rather send someone on their way than actually work. Being a foreigner is especially nice, though. I have been pulled over a few times and after looking at me they just send me on my way. I was even waved through a alcohol check point before. Just need to do something about all those cameras now. They keep catching me.

teachkorea21
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Joined: 05/24/2010 - 11:16
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

On my way home last night and a guy merged on the freeway and I was coming up on him at 120 kp/h so I flashed to be polite. He was in a new Audi and he gunned the car and took off. My little Hyundai could not keep up and I was not trying, mission accomplished I did not rear end him on the freeway. But then just as I thought it was over her started hitting his breaks, as I caught up he did it again.

This when on for a bit with my just driving the same speed him speeding up and hitting his breaks, until he pissed off a guy in an Equus who raced him through a tunnel at 150-170 as I was going 120 and they left me standing still. 

Small manhood methinks...

Seems that the nicer your car the stupider you are. It was a very nice Audisurprise

John Venerikson
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Joined: 08/13/2009 - 12:36
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

One of my biggest dislikes about driving here is the, "I see some room. I am going to put my car in there!" Especially when no one is behind you and the guy could have just waited 2 seconds, let me pass and then move. Instead, I am forced to slow down and move around him in the other lane. The fact the guy mergerd into traffic is nice. The lane for the on ramp usually runs for sometime and this is supposed tobe used for gaining speed. Most come around the ramp and just panic-got to merge! Look in you mirror, shoulder check, pick a spot, speed up and you are good. Dont drive 40, "merge" and then speed up. Slows everyone down.

mattsid
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Joined: 09/15/2009 - 15:13
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

The shoulder check is an instant fail in the Korean driving test! You have to keep your eyes front facing all the time.

Or so I've heard. Can anyone confirm this or is it one of those 'expat urban myths'?

I agree with what was said about the accelerate brake thing. It's infuriating. I think part of the problem lies in not looking ahead beyond the car infront of you and anticipating traffic speed. If there is a gap between the you and the car infront the main aim seems to be to close it off as quickly as possible.

The other problem I encounter when driving in busy traffic is that since I use a manual transmission I often use my gears instead of brakes to slow me down, but am always worried that because of the absense of brake lights the car in back might slam into the back of me. Therefore I find myself touching the breaks just to give them a warning. Would never do that back home.

Love this thread by the way. Good to know everyone pretty much feels the same way. But, at the same time I bet nearly all of us who choose to drive here in Korea would never give up their cars!

teachkorea21
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Joined: 05/24/2010 - 11:16
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

Dont waste your break lights, most cars with them out don't bother to replace them anyway...wink

Panamajoe
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Joined: 05/08/2012 - 17:36
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

I think the people that are continuously  breaking accelerating are driving two footed.  You have to LEARN that the left foot is only for a clutch.  We had a girl in our drivers ed class that insisted on using her left fopor for the brake, so the teacher untied her shoe and ran the laces outside the door so that when he closed the door her left foot was stuck, and she couldn't use it to brake, she learned....

John Venerikson
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Joined: 08/13/2009 - 12:36
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

The last 3 posts are all great. Shoulder checks are illegal-that would be something!

I saw 3 fender-benders on my way home tonight. With the traffic here you cant really afford to take your eyes off of the road for a second. That said, every second person is on the phone or watching TV, thus, they have a crazy amount of  traffic accidents. Live and learn, or as they say here, try to live.

Every part of my car is banged up from people hitting it-mostly when it was parked-which is something else i love by the way. I love coming out and seeing a huge scrape or dent on my car. No note or anything of course. This has happened about 5 times to me.

But that said, Matt is right-I would never give up my car.

Remember, putting on your hazards makes you invincible. Enjoy!

 

mattsid
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Joined: 09/15/2009 - 15:13
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

I always use my hazards when I'm the one who has screwed up by not knowing the road well and getting in the wrong lane. On a few occasions a rare, kindly driver (often big 18 wheeler trucks surprisingly) has allowed me in, but most of the time I have to do it Korean style and be an asshole and just force myself in.

Travis Kemp
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Joined: 12/21/2009 - 17:58
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

if import taxes weren't so high in malaysia, i would've shifted my tiburon down to KL.

the shoulder check fail is not a myth. i took hogwon course.  and as i attempted to do during a practice run, the instructor said NO

freeway deaths are huge here in Malaysia. buses, and motorcyles are the biggest culprits. as there are endless streams of holiday here, family treks home are always highlighted in the paper by the number of deaths.

in comparison to the ROK, they are several  steps behind. which is supremely odd given the presence of dutch, spanish, and english who've lived her SOOOOOOOOOOOO long before the country turned independent.

i admittedly take uncessary chances, always have and it doesnt have to be 4 wheels. my lady pleasantly always reminds me, how she feels when i drive. closing her eyes in tunnels and parking garages, and reading a mag rag to avert attention to my and the others triumphant errs of the road. 

i got stopped near the house one day, was literally trying to get my belt on whilst driving (not cuz i saw him, cuz i had just got in the car and foolishly started driving) he pulls me over, gives me his yada yada . and the last thing he says to me "do you have anything else you want to say to me?" like i should be grateful he's not cuffing me and slapping me around. i said "Nope".  he was waiting for the 50 rinngit coffe money bribe. (this is standard) and 50 rinngit, is 16 USD. not the brightest bunch here.  just like korea the coppers are just as lazy.

 the baju kurung, the traditional malay lady garb is like wearing blinders. you CANNOT see OR hear. and it may appear slightly genderist, but they are just shite behind the wheel. family of 4 on a motorcyle. spit, and you'll hit one. they're everywhere, with no helmets. they also ride down the middle of a 2 lane highway and I'm so ready to stick my umbrella out the window just to cane and clothes line these nimrods for the hell of it. the cell phone use is REALLY bad, another species of driver i want to eliminate personally. whats worse than tha.. the ever-law-breaking Diplomatic Courier car of this that and the other nation who resides on my neighborhood thoroughfair. absolute bollocks!

that said, i'm a bad driver i know, and i love living here.  korea was  my home forever, and i loved it too, and my car. i just will not tolerate STUPID drivers ANYWHERE!

ah malaysia truly asia.... malaysia, truly lazy lah

love this thread,

robertpusan64
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Joined: 03/28/2011 - 11:40
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

i was waiting to cross the street   then  i heard the siren of an ambulance . Cars refused to pull over for the ambulance That is really vile and horrible behavior just pure disgusting .  No one letting an ambulance proceed with the pateint .

 In USA some of the biggest fines are for

1) Not pulling over and letting an ambulance or fire truck do their people

2)Clogging an intersection

3)Blocking a crosswalk

 Karma is what Karma is  For those people who refuse to pull over and let an ambulance 

 Karma will put you in an ambulance stuck in traffic because bacteria refuse to pull over    

John Venerikson
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Joined: 08/13/2009 - 12:36
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

The ambulance topic is another good one. Just goes to show you, Korea is an all about me country and very little about caring for others. People just do not care. Pretty sad. That said, ambulance drivers are not all that good either. Pretty passive. And a couple of years ago companies that operate ambulances were fined because they were using their sirens without patients in the ambulance  so they could speed and so on. Crazy.

mattsid
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Joined: 09/15/2009 - 15:13
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

New one for the list.

The overwhelming abundance of blacked out 'suntinted' windows.

The problem with this is that a lot of time it reduces visibility of the person driving the car. The 'sunting' on my car is such a cheap shoddy job that I have to drive with my windows down at night and when it's raining just to be able to see.

My biggest problem with it though is that it makes it very difficult to see what is going on in front of you. This didn't really occur to me until I was in a car outside of Korea and I suddenly realized that I could see what was going on ahead through the windows of the car in front.

Also, is it just me or are traffic lights and road signs badly placed here. Half the time I am unable to see if a light is green or red because the van or bus infront of me completely blocks it. Likewise with signs I've missed important turns because I was unable to see them until the last minute. And thus becoming the aforementioned asshole who finds themselves in the wrong lane.

robertpusan64
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Joined: 03/28/2011 - 11:40
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

However  Korea is not alone in the Driving maze . I also found Taiwan , China , and Vietnam ,

to have horrible and dangerous traffic . Perhaps we are the wierd ones ( usa , canada , and others

that obey traffic rules and drive politely . Perhaps more countries are like Korea then like

USa   Canada and others .Just a random thought  as a remember in Vietnam  a family of 6 on a

 motor bike . And the awful  thing   i heard a boom  looked  and saw a baby flying in the air .

Just could look away and keep driving . Its a bad memory and how they would move sheets of

Glass in the rain by motorbike and smoke at the same time       

John Venerikson
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Joined: 08/13/2009 - 12:36
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

The tinting here is amazing. I alwaye want to look in but cant see anything.  You could be doing anything in there and a cop right beside you would have no idea. Not allowed back home in the slightest.

And what about scooters? They pull up beside you, well, in front of you but then drive 30km/hr. If you are going to go in front of me you had better drive faster than me. And they get so pissed off of you almost hit them but they go in and out of traffic not obeying any laws yet expect us all to watch out for them like a baby at a baby crossing. You cant have it both ways. The delivery guys fly but so many times on my way to work I encounter 800 year old men and women plotting along on there 40 year old scooter. It is cool in a way to see it but still, hurry up or get out of my way.

Another one I wonder about is the flasing of the hazards when going through a tunnel? I think, is there an accident or are you just driving like a moron? Why hazards because you have a roof over your head? I do not get that. And of course, everyone rolls up there window because of bad air-while at the same time the 3 occupents of the car are puffing away on a cigarette. It is just a tunnel. The worst is when you just go through and underpath like near Allak-dong and people do this. It takes like 3 seconds to get through it. Oh the joys of driving in Korea.

And yes, other countries are worse but I dont think those other countries think they are second coming of toast like people tend to think here. If you want to be arrogant and think you are the bomb, walk the talk, but acting arrogant while being a moron at the same time does not work. It is like people think they deserve whatever they want to do on the roads here. Well, it is true, they deserve to be named the car accident capital of the world. Congrats! 

John Venerikson
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Joined: 08/13/2009 - 12:36
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

And may be the icing on the cake are those who drive in two lanes. Move over already. Most of the time it is a taxi looking to go in the fastest lane but that does not mean you are king of the road and can just block those behind you until one lane opens up. That, or, people here watch Seinfeld and saw the episode where Kramer turns two lanes into one luxurious driving lane. Who knows. Probably watching the TV or something. I was thinking about this last night when I was out dodging drunk pedestrians and taxis. Happy motoring.

John Venerikson
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Joined: 08/13/2009 - 12:36
Re: Dear Korean Drivers

Driving today made me remember what it is like to drive in the rain here. People, it is not snow or ice, it is rain. You can drive faster than 30km/hr. Your tires can handle that. They are actually tested in the rain to make sure. Thank you.

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