[Letters] Dangerous roads

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[Letters] Dangerous roads

While on my way to the Gunja subway station in northeastern Seoul on May 5, I was crossing the road at an official crosswalk with the light green indicating it was safe to walk when whoosh a motorcycle shot just in front of me heading down the road. I stopped, swore and stood watching as the rider continued down the road, swerved into oncoming traffic and took a left turn. There was no license plate.

Then the next day a story ran in the Joong Ang Daily titled “Seniors at risk walking village roads.” It told the sad stories of rural Korean seniors being mowed down as they crossed countryside roads. Nearly a thousand lose their lives every year according to the article.

In response, apparently, the National Police Agency announced some measures to cut the deaths in half including such things as putting up “slow down” signs and installing more streetlights in high risk areas.

On the flip side, police have suggested asking people over 65 to turn in their licenses after an 80-year-old man got killed while driving his four-wheeled motorbike. (Yes, you read it correctly.)

I suggest a few things: enforce the laws already on the books like speeding and violating traffic lights-surely streets would be safer and revenue from fines would increase; crack down on motorbikes and scooters for the most obvious of things like driving recklessly and not having proper registrations (these notorious pests seem above the law); and put more traffic police on the streets (rarely does one see enforcement taking place on the roads).

With an already alarming number of traffic accidents and fatalities among developed nations, isn’t it time to make negligent and heedless motorists take responsibility for ignoring the laws of the nation, endangering others and even turning country roads into death beds for the elderly?

John M. Rodgers,

a teacher at Daewon Foreign Language High School, Seoul
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