The Korea Herald


Bus driver given 6 years for deadly school zone accident

By Lee Jung-joo

Published : Sept. 14, 2023 - 15:57

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A school zone traffic sign in Seoul, South Korea (Getty Images Bank) A school zone traffic sign in Seoul, South Korea (Getty Images Bank)

A bus driver who struck and killed an 8-year-old boy at a school zone crosswalk in May in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, was given a 6-year sentence in court on Thursday.

“As a bus driver who had been driving the same route for three years, the defendant was aware that the location (of the incident) was a school zone with a right-turn traffic light, and that it was frequented by students attending an elementary school nearby,” said the Suwon District Court. “The accident could have been prevented if the defendant had fulfilled his duty and obeyed the Road Traffic Act.”

According to the Road Traffic Act, which was revised on July 12, 2022, all vehicles must stop before making a right turn near a crosswalk in all school zones.

“While the defendant’s crimes resulted in the death of a child, there are still multiple vehicles which do not abide by the Road Traffic Act in school zones,” said Suwon District Court, adding that the bus driver's sentence should serve as a wake-up call to society.

Cho Eun-gyeol was struck by a bus at a crosswalk in front of his school on May 10. The boy had right of way as the crosswalk light was green, but the bus drove through and made an illegal right turn, reportedly without seeing Cho.