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3 in 10 drivers use smart devices on the road: report

2020 Transport Culture Index shows improvement, yet concerns remain

(123rf)
(123rf)
Koreans have broken less traffic rules last year, but concerns still remain as an official report showed an increasing frequency of jaywalking and a growing number of drivers using smart devices on the road, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said Wednesday.

The Transport Culture Index, which measures driving and walking behaviors and the level of transport safety across 229 cities and counties, recorded a score of 78.94 last year, increasing by 2.30 points compared to 2019. A higher index represents a higher compliance with traffic rules.

The drivers’ compliance rate of the stop line at a crosswalk was measured at 81.8 percent and the pedestrians’ compliance rate of crosswalk signals was 92.5 percent. Both figures were slightly higher than a year before.

As the government has put more effort into promoting and enforcing helmet-wearing for motorcycle riders, 90.6 percent of the two-wheelers were reported to have abided by the rules, a 5 percent increase on-year.

Gangwon Province’s Wonju, Jeju Island’s Jeju and Gyeonggi Province’s Siheung were ranked the top three cities with the best transport culture among the cities with a population of over 300,000.

But there was still room for improvement. The Transport Culture Index showed that the frequency rate of pedestrians jaywalking stood at 35.2 percent, up by 3 percent compared to the previous year.

The pedestrians’ usage rate of smart devices while crossing remained almost the same at 14.8 percent.

3 in 10 drivers, or 35.9 percent, were found to have used smart devices on the road, the Transport Ministry said. Albeit having went up only by less than 0.5 percent from 2019, the government said it was still a cause for concern.

The Transport Ministry also called on truck drivers to wear seat belts, pointing out that the seat belt-wearing rate for the group was estimated at only 66.6 percent and about 21 percent lower than other vehicle drivers.

“The fact that the overall score of the Transport Culture Index keeps increasing each year shows the level of the public awareness about transport safety is steadily improving,” a ministry official said.

“However, since the rate of jaywalking and pedestrians’ using smart devices are still high and the seat belt-wearing rate of truck drivers is very low, the public and private sector should put efforts together to follow the transport safety regulations so the country as a whole can have a safer transport environment.”

By Kan Hyeong-woo (hwkan@heraldcorp.com)
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