Go to contents

No More Criminal Penalty for Traffic Violators

Posted March. 24, 2003 21:48,   


Justice Minister Kang Kum Sil confirmed yesterday that the ministry "is considering ways to change the law related to traffic violation." Currently, if a person commits a traffic violation, he or she has to pay a "criminal fine." Once the law is changed as announced, the violator would receive only an "administrative fine."

Showing up on KBS yesterday morning, Kang said, "By changing the nature of the fine from a criminal penalty to an administrative one, we could reduce the number of people recorded as ex-con."

She also promised to support the Ministry of Gender Equality in its efforts to revise the adoption-related laws so that an adopted child could use the last name of the adoptive father.

Under the current Civil Code, a legal family has to be formed centered around a household head. Thus, if a child is born, the child has to be put on her family head`s file, and follow the last name of the head. Thus, equal rights advocates have criticized the system as sex-biased.

The new adoption system was first introduced to the National Assembly in July, 2001. Under the system, if a woman gets remarried with her children, the children may change their last name to that of their new father. But the bill is idling in the Assembly. Thus, a man who marries a divorced woman is not allowed to claim his wife`s children from previous marriage as tax dependents, and thus is not able to offer any medical coverage for them.

A Justice Ministry official denied the report and said, "It`s just what she believes. At least for now, it has nothing to do with our official position." He continued, however, "Once the promotion is over for prosecutors, we will begin to work on the projects upon receiving a proper order."

Sang-Rok Lee myzodan@donga.com