SEJONG, Sept. 19 (Korea Bizwire) – The South Korean government is set to introduce new road safety measures which will see even smaller buses being equipped with a lane departure warning system.Under the new plans from the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs (MOLIT) for road safety law reforms, buses that are only 9 to 11 meters in length will be required to have a lane departure warning system (LDWS) installed.
The MOLIT announced on Monday it is planning to pass a road safety legislation amendment bill as part of efforts to curb the growing number of road accidents.
The latest move by the MOLIT is a direct response to a fatal accident on the Gyeongbu Expressway back in July which resulted from drowsy driving.
The government had already announced new road safety measures in the aftermath of the accident.
However, after reports emerged the bus in question was exempt from some of the safety requirements because the vehicle was five centimeters short of 11 meters, the minimum length imposed by transport authorities, criticism mounted over the loophole.
Since then, the MOLIT restated that a LDWS would be mandatory on all buses longer than nine meters.
Under the new measure, the MOLIT estimates an additional 10,000 buses will have an LDWS installed, a move the government branch believes is an effective way to prevent accidents caused by drowsy driving.
With the cost for installation expected to be around 500,000 won per bus, the government is set to provide 400,000 won per vehicle to help transport companies meet the requirements that will soon take effect.
The new reform will also see fines for operators of buses without a digital tachograph that keeps track of driving records, putting further pressure on transport companies to keep in line with the government’s efforts to improve overall road safety in the country.
The MOLIT says it is planning to finalize the process of passing the amendment bill by the end of this year.
The MOLIT’s decision to introduce stricter regulations is the latest in a series of countermeasures to tackle the country’s unabated spate of deadly road accidents.
Following a multiple-vehicle collision involving a commuter bus in the Yongdong Expressway tunnel in Bongpyeong last year, which left four people dead and 37 people injured, the government introduced a requirement for trucks and other types of large vehicles to be equipped with advanced emergency braking systems.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)