From the second half of the year, the 88-year-old rule of walking on the left will be changed to walking on the right.
The Korea National Police Agency and the Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs Ministry yesterday announced a plan to "advance the traffic management system to change the walking-on-the-left culture to the Presidential Commission on National Competitiveness.
Under the plan, pedestrians will walk on the right side according to their convenience, psychological stability and international practices, and can walk face-to-face with cars. On roads without sidewalks, pedestrians will walk facing cars and on sidewalks and those walking close to roads will walk on the right to face cars.
The ministry predicted that the change will save 70 lives and prevent 1,700 injuries and 140 billion won in physical and psychological damages a year. The National Police Agency will submit a revised bill to traffic law on changing the walking-on-the-left rule to the National Assembly after holding hearings and discussions.
The walking-to-the-left rule has long been criticized as unsuitable for physical characteristics, traffic safety and international practices. As a result, police and the ministry have studied how to improve this with scholars and civic groups since September 2007.