Go to contents

Cellular Phone Use While Driving Banned From 30th

Posted June. 25, 2001 20:03,   


The Police will ticket the cellular phone users while driving from June 30. But the ambiguous regulations and crackdown guidance are likely to generate the controversy between the police and the drivers.

▼ Regulations and Guidance

The revised Road Traffic Law (subsection 1 of section 48, `drivers` observances`) prescribed that the drivers should not use the cellular phone while driving. This regulation also provided the exceptional cases as follows; phone use while parked, emergency calling, reporting a crime on scene, when using a hands free devices, etc.

The National Police Office (NPO) has established a concrete guidance under this regulation.

The traffic safety division of the NPO announced that `while driving` is limited to `while the wheels are rolling`, and the police will observe the behaviors how the drivers are managing their cell phones.

Under this measure, the police will crack down for the act of pushing the buttons of a cell phone, speaking into a cell phone while holding the unit, and holding the hands free devices or the earphone while driving. But the drivers are permitted to use phone during a stop on a signal light or during a congested traffic jam.

The NPO plans to establish the concrete guide-line after collecting the opinions through a one month period of publicity and guidance from June 30 to the end of July, and it will begin to regulate over the violations from August 1.

The fine is 60,000 won for passenger cars and 70,000 won for mini vans. And 15 demerit marks will be commonly imposed on the violators.

▼Controversial Points

Some point out that the act of pressing a button in order to use a hand free device should be excluded from the regulation.

But an official of the police told that if the behavior to push a one-touch button is exempt from the regulation, there is no way to prove whether the drivers are pushing just one button or many buttons.

Many drivers have already expressed their complains on the police`s crackdown plan.

Kang Man-Ki, an office worker, told that ``I cannot understand the differences between touching a phone and operating an audio or the mini-TV. It is just a measure to raise the quantity of crackdown cases by the police catching even the act of holding the earphone in order to bring the microphone close to the mouth.

Another driver Mr. Choi (28) told that ``under the regulation, the drivers should hang up the phone or stop the car on the shoulder if the traffic begin to move when they are making a phone call at a stop sign. Rather, they can cause or get the accident while changing lane or lanes``.

Choi Ho-Won bestiger@donga.com