Daily Life > Driving in Korea

Traffic Rules, Korea    

Traffic Rules, Korea

Following is information on some basic traffic regulations. 

Minimum Driving Age is 18 years of age for cars and 16 for motorcycles

Speed limits:
On ordinary roads:        60km/hr
Roads over 5-lanes:      80km/hr
Motorways:                   30-90km/hr  (see traffic signs for posted speed)
Highways – 4-lanes:      50-100km/hr
Highways – 2-lanes:      48-80km/hrReduce speed by 20% during rain or now. 

Safety belts must be worn by all passengers when the vehicle is in motions. Failure to comply can result in a fine of W30,000. In taxis, it is mandatory to fasten the seat belt if you are sitting in the front seat, but not the back.

Cell phones use is prohibited to drivers unless it’s a ‘hands-free’ set. Failure to comply can result in a fine. 

City Bus lanes  give priority to public buses during rush hour(s) and can be identified by the painted blue line. Bus-only rules apply from 7:00 to 21:00 on weekdays and 7:00 to 15:00 on Saturdays. Sundays are open.  Bus lanes are often in the middle of the road and are not confined to the curb lanes. (Note: does this mean that buses will stay inside their lines? Absolutely not.)
Highways also have Express Bus-Only lanes. These are generally the far left lane and are in effect from 9:00 to 23:00 every day. Only vehicles (vans/buses) carrying 8 or more people are allowed in the bus only lane. 

Left turns are generally only allowed if the traffic light shows a left-turn arrow. The same can apply for right turns at some busy intersections; otherwise you can make a right turn on a red light. 

Traffic Violations Points System
Drivers accumulate points for traffic violations or traffic accidents. Once a certain number of points have been accumulated, the person's driving license may be cancelled or suspended. For example, if a driver accumulates more than 40 penalty points for traffic violations, her/his license may be suspended. Cancellation of the license will occur if the driver has accumulated more than 121 points in one year, 201 points in 2 years or 271 points in 3 years. Refusal to submit to breathalyzer test, leaving the scene of an accident, driving with a suspended license can result in immediate cancellation of one's driving license.
Point Penalities:
10 points: lane changing violation, no passing zone violation, engaging in disputes/arguments on the road that interferes with traffic, etc.
15 points: signal violation (crossing on a red/amber light), use of cell phone while driving, no passing violation, exceeding speed limity by 20-40km/hr, bus-only lane violation, etc.
30 points: crossing the center divide line, exceeding speed limit by 40km/hr, driving on highway shoulder, railrod crossing violation, etc.
15 points: signal violation (crossing on a red/amber light), use of cell phone while driving, no passing violation, exceeding speed limity by 20-40km/hr, bus-only lane violation, etc.
2-15 points per injury depending on the seriousness (based on healing/treament time) of the injury
90 points: per death if the victim dies within 72 hours of the accident 
Speeding 40km/hr over limit: W90,000 car; W60,000 motorcycle
Signal violation, u-turn/reverse violation, pedestrian crossing violation, mobile phone usage: W60,000 passenger car; W40,000 motorcycle
Parking violation, bus-only lane violation, emergency violation yielding violation, failing to drive safely (including dangerious driving): W40,000 passenger car; W30,000 motorcyle,

Drinking and Driving is a serious offense in Korea and the law is more often enforced than not these days.
Driving while intoxicated (this means a blood alcohol level of over 0.05%) is punishable by imprisonment of up to 2 years and a fine of up to 3 million won.
Driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.05-0.35% is punishable by law, and those with over 0.36% are arrested and detained.
Anyone who has been caught drinking and driving on 3 previous occasions is automatically detained, regardless of the degree of intoxication.
- Drivers with a blood alcohol level of 0.05% to 0.09% will have their license suspended for 100 days.
- Those found with a blood alcohol level of more than 0.10% or more than 0.05% when involved in an accident resulting in loss of life will have their license revoked. 
- Drivers who refuse an alcohol level test
 face cancellation of their license.

When you reach the officer, you must stop, roll down the window and quickly breathe into the breathalyzer – it takes only a second...if you pass the test.

K4E Editor:
We try to make the information on Korea4Expats.com as complete and accurate as possible, so if you notice any errors or omissions in the content above, please let us know at info@korea4expats.com.
Some of the above (fines/penalties, etc.) are from the Korea Driver's License Agency.

Last Updated on 2010-10-28

Share or bookmark this page:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • TwitThis
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Technorati
  • blogmarks
  • Nuouz
  • StumbleUpon
  • Tutmarks
  • Netscape
  • Bruxello
  • Blogasty
  In the same header
-Buying and Registering a Car, Korea -Driver's License Examination Offices
-Driving Tips -Finding Your Towed Car
-Getting a Korean Driver's License -Getting a Motorcycle License
-Liability and Auto Insurance, Korea -Mandatory Vehicle Inspections
-Motorcycle Training Courses -No Driving Campaign - Seoul
-Paying Highway Tolls with Hi-pass -Renting a Car, Korea
-Replacing Your Korean Driver's License -Rules of the Road
-Traffic Accidents, Korea -Traffic Rules, Korea
-Vehicle Ownership Transfer

korea korea a

Last Posts On Forums

Seminars for Parents - Positive Parenting, 26 Feb 2015, Yongsan-gu, SeoulECLC is presenting a series of seminars for parents of young children on 26 February, 7 & 19 March and 16 April plus in Korean on 21 May.
YISS Spring Musical - Mulan, Jr, Sat 28 Feb 2015, Yongsan-gu, SeoulTravel back to the legendary days of ancient China with the Disney-adapted musical Mulan, Jr. Appropriate for all ages.
YEOL Lecture - Nongak, Mon 9 Mar 2015, Jongno-gu, SeoulEnjoy a lecture, in English, on Nongak, Community Band Music, Dance, and Rituals over lunch.
At the Movies This Week - SeoulClick here for a list of English language/subtitled movies and where they are playing in Seoul. For movies in Busan and Daegu, see What's Going On - Entertainment.
Taejon Christian International School
A Plus Dental
Seoul Foreign School, K-12 English School, Seodaemun, Seoul
Dollar | Won | Euro
I want to convert ...

Helpul telephone numbers seoul korea
KoreanClass101 - An online Korean learning system
EnglishClass101 - An online English learning system