SUWON, Nov.10 (Korea Bizwire) – The number of accidents caused by foreigners driving without a valid driver’s license has been increasing rapidly. However, since there is no way for Koreans to receive compensation when a foreign driver without a license causes an accident, there is increasing pressure for legal countermeasures to be introduced.
According to the Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency, there were 226 traffic accidents caused by foreign drivers in 2012, 218 cases in 2013, and 594 cases in 2014, with the number almost tripling in only two years. A total of 26 individuals died in the accidents, and 1,645 were injured.
The total number of accidents this year has yet to be determined, but law enforcement officials expect that the numbers will be similar to last year.
Among the number of accidents caused by foreign drivers, there were 72 cases in 2012 in which the driver did not have a valid license, 82 cases in 2013 and 137 cases in 2014, showing a 90 percent increase over the two years.
The problem is that victims cannot receive compensation because vehicles and their owners are usually not insured.
In May, foreigner ‘A’ (24) crashed into a taxi. However, ‘A’ didn’t have a driver’s license, and ‘B’ (68), the taxi driver, had to pay for all of the expenses that were incurred in fixing his car.
Government compensation programs managed by authorities only pay 100 million won when a victim is killed by an unlicensed car, and a maximum of 20 million won when a victim is hurt.
As a result, many see the current situation as an urgent matter, and are pressuring officials to take measures to prevent unlicensed driving among foreigners.
Law enforcement officials say that they are cracking down on foreigners driving without licenses. They also plan to distribute pamphlets and conduct a traffic safety awareness campaign.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)