Questions & Answers

Driving in Korea

Is it legal to drive or park a motorcycle on the sidewalk?

No, it is not legal to either drive or park a motorcycle on the sidewalk, everywhere in Korea. 

Motorcycles are motor vehicles and are required the park in the same places as cars and other motor vehicles. Motorcycles illegally parked can be ticketed just as a automobile would be. That said, many locals  ignore the laws and park wherever it is convenient for them, including the sidewalk... same with driving on walkways.

It is illegal in Korea to ride a motorcycle on the sidewalk. However, many courriers/delivery cyclists justify their use of walkways as motorways/roads saying that they have to get the delivery to the destination within a set period of time (ie 30 minutes) and that if they don't, it will cost them - some employers make the driver pay the cost of being late or levy a kind of 'fine'. Another justification, is that riding on the road is more dangerous for them than riding on the sidwalk...never mind the danger to pedestrians.

The police have usually not enforced these regulations, or at least not on a regular basis. When a big event is being held in Korea, there have been crackdowns prior to the opening (ie. World Cup, etc) but then things have 'gone back to normal'. In 2012, however, there has been talk of enforcing the law more strictly and more consistently in Seoul. There has also been more discussion regarding the delivery time-limits as being unrealistic given the traffic and road conditions in most Korean cities.

K4E Editor's Note: Korea4Expats.com wants to provide you with as complete and accurate information as possible, so should you find any errors or omissions in the contents above please let us know at info@korea4expats.com.



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