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Drivers who use cell phones to be fined

Posted August. 21, 2000 20:04,   


Many citizens wonder if using their cellular phones while driving is illegal with no exceptions. The government has given its final say on the matter. Drivers of vehicles for commercial use are banned from using cellular phones while driving beginning Wednesday until the end of this year. But starting January 1, 2001, cellular phone use is prohibited for all drivers, regardless of vehicle purpose. Offenders will be fined 70 000 won and given 15 demerit points.

However, there are exceptions. Cellular phone use is allowed when the vehicle is not in motion due to traffic congestion or a car accident. Emergency vehicle drivers or those reporting a crime in an emergency situation are also exempt. Dialing up while driving a vehicle equipped with a hands-free device that assures safety is also allowed.

The Regulatory Reform Committee passed a vote on the revision of the Traffic Safety Act Monday after conducting a preliminary inspection. The revision will take effect January 1 next year after being passed by the cabinet and National Assembly.

Meanwhile, the government will revise the Road Traffic Law in order to prevent commercial vehicle drivers from making telephone calls while driving. The revision will take effect from Wednesday until the end of the year. A government official said that the act does not ban passenger car drivers from making phone calls while they are at the wheel, but strongly recommended that they abstain from cellular phone use while driving.