Safety Measures in Korean School Buses in Korea via the Amended Road Traffic Act of Korea

The Amendment to the Korean Road Traffic Act (hereinafter as “ Korean RTA”) is in force since March 2019 and shall generally increase the safety for children in school buses in Korea. The Amendment was a reaction to an accident that occurred with in school buses, including children, which got physically harmed or even died. An infamous incident involved a young child that left unattended in a bus and died because of, among other things, heat exhaustion.

Korean RTA drastically changed, the following brief snippet is, only, the tip of the iceberg. If you are running a business that transports children, we, highly, recommend having your law firm in Korea walk you through this law.

Two Highlights of the Amendment to the Korean Road Traffic Act 2019

  • A driver of a school bus for children shall operate a device that verifies that the discharge of children from the bus has been completed, in order to make sure that no child remains on the bus.” (Art. 53 (5) RTA) In anyone “…failing to comply with this shall be punished with a fine not to exceed 200 thousand won, or by detention of less than 30 days or a minor fine less than 50 thousand won.“.
  • In order to support the efficient compliance of Art 53 (5) RTA’s new obligations to operate an appropriate device in school buses, Art 138-2 (2) RTA earmarks that the “…central or a local government may fully or partially subsidize the cost of installing and/or operating such a device that verifies the discharge of all children from a bus…”.

With this amendment and more focus on safety, in general, in Korea we suspect to see more cases going to court and many are hoping for greater damage awards.

by Barbara Goiser

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