South Korea’s Supreme Court: “driving at a zebra crossing without traffic lights will also be punished”

Renmin.com recently, South Korea’s Supreme Court ruled on a case in which a car injured a pedestrian crossing the road. It found that even if the vehicle entered the zebra crossing first, if it injured a pedestrian, the driver would still be punished.

According to South Korean media “Jingxiang news”, in April 2019, a car ran into a 7-year-old child while crossing a zebra crossing without traffic lights. According to South Korea’s “special case law of traffic accident handling”, the insured drivers enjoy certain exemption rights from criminal punishment, but excluding 12 kinds of gross negligence. South Korean prosecutors believe that the accident is a gross negligence, which belongs to “the driver’s violation of the obligation of pedestrian first at the zebra crossing”, so they transferred the case to the court for trial.

In the first instance judgment, the driver was found not to have violated the obligation of pedestrians to go first on the ground that he entered the zebra crossing earlier than the pedestrians, and the prosecution was rejected.

The judgment of the second instance found that the accused driver violated the obligation of pedestrian first. The trial court said that “due to the absence of traffic lights at the accident section, pedestrians can cross the zebra crossing at any time”, and held that the accident driver lacked the awareness of driving safety. “At that time, there were vehicles on both sides of the road, which hindered the driver from identifying whether there were pedestrians on the zebra crossing. In this case, the driver should stop temporarily to confirm safety before passing.”.

The driver refused to accept the decision and appealed. South Korea’s Supreme Court rejected the appeal on the 18th and upheld the original judgment. The court said that all drivers should make sure that they do not obstruct pedestrians when entering a zebra crossing without traffic lights, otherwise they should stop temporarily.

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