This system aims to check if the vehicle complies with the vehicle safety criteria.
Background and Purpose
- Korea has no fewer than 23.6 million vehicles, but the driving culture index (*Source: Center of Driving Culture Campaign, Korea: 78.9, Japan: 160.7, Sweden: 132.7, Netherlands: 124.9) shows that the mindset of Korean drivers is not yet on par with other developed countries. This seems to be attributable to the lack of nationwide promotion of vehicle management, compliance with traffic laws, and proliferation of sound driving culture in line with the rapid economic advancement of Korea as well as lack of attention from drivers. In practice, Korean drivers find the matter of the car they drive more valuable than the issues such as obligations arising from operating a vehicle, consideration for others, and damages from environmental pollutions.
- The system aims to prevent traffic accidents and risk factors including environmental pollution from an illegal vehicle by checking for any violations of the safety criteria and having the driver restore the original conditions.
- Unsafe factors on the road include, but are not limited to, the following: frustrating exhaust noise; loud music from the car stereo; excessively bright headlights blocking the vision of incoming vehicles; black-coated brake light that is supposed to be in red to notify the following vehicle or use of blue color that causes the driver of the following vehicle to fail to notice that the vehicle ahead is coming to a stop, resulting in risk of collision; changing color or turn indicator to cause confusion; vehicles whose tires or wheels protrude too much, which may damage other cars or hurt pedestrians; vehicles with damaged license plate or no lock on it, resulting in potential illegality; installation of a steel bumper (kangaroo bumper), which can cause severe damage to the other vehicle or its driver in case of collision; and arbitrary modification of the loading device of a truck for overloading.
- The lack of official crackdown on such illegal and unsafe cases led to a surge of vehicles violating the relevant laws and similar cases by generally good-willed drivers. At the National Assembly inspection 2004 gave rise to the issues of illegal vehicles causing accidents and pollutions. In a bid to resolve such issues, the government started to launch irregular crackdowns on illegal vehicles throughout the year led by TS, a vehicle test specialist. The system took effect beginning March 2005 (with a one-month grace period) – with the amendment of the “Automobile Management Act” on December 26, 2017 serving as the legal basis of the system – and the “Vehicle Safety Inspection Center” was established on June 27, 2018.
- The irregular crackdown on illegal vehicles involves detecting an illegal vehicle and securing evidence such as a picture taken by TS, which then notifies the relevant authority having jurisdiction. The local government takes administrative measures such as interim test order, with the owner of the vehicle restoring the vehicle or taking appropriate action. TS will endeavor to ensure that all drivers have a safe driving mindset and reduce the number of traffic accidents so that all Koreans enjoy driving and Korea will no longer be branded as a country with poor driving safety among OECD countries.