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Drivers punished too lightly for speeding, statistics show

2017/07/17 08:52

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SEOUL, July 17 (Yonhap) -- Almost all of the some 40 million cases of speeding over the past five years were concluded after drivers paid fines, statistics showed Monday, raising criticism that the punishment is too lax.

According to the Korea Transport Institute, 40.7 million cases of speeding were caught on camera during the 2011-2015 period, and 98 percent of them were closed after fines were paid. Only 1.99 percent, or about 795,000 cases, were punished with both fines and penalty points. Statistics showed that only 0.1 percent, or 29 cases, were ruled as high speeding, driving more than 60 kph over the speed limit. High speeding is subject to both monetary fines and license suspension.

Traffic officials say that the regulations encourage both the drivers and the government to misuse the law. Drivers caught speeding can avoid accruing penalty points if they pay just an extra 10,000 won (US$8.82) on an overdue fine. The government also benefits by being able to collect more monetary fines, they say.

"We need to make the punishment stronger in order to reduce traffic accidents caused by speeding," said Sung Nak-moon, head of the comprehensive transport research department at the institute. "We need an overall reform of the system on fines and penalty points."