Wild Wild West – South Korea
West is a matter of where you stand in the world, but in this case, the wild wild west is in South Korea. Apparently the motorcycle scene there is a gang-ho, all out, motorcycle rodeo.
It has become so dangerous, that the Korean government is planning a major crackdown on the motorcycle world. Their target? The couriers and delivery motorcycles. Some 400,000 are registered, representing probably half of what is really out there.
These motorcycle delivery boys & girls hop onto sidewalks and speed over them in order to make their delivery on time. Pedestrians are just obstacles in their daring race against time. Seoul city is gridlocked with cars, so they do not have any options. Enforcement is very difficult anyway, so the couriers get away with it. The traffic fine they are presented with, if they are ever caught, is the equivalent of US$25.
According to the head of an express delivery service company: “Quickness is what we are for. We know it’s illegal but when the road is jammed with cars, we don’t have any choice but to hit sidewalks to go fast.”
Not only will the Seoul Metropolitan Government hit motorcycles who are riding on sidewalks, but they also plan to go after the ones that ride in the bus-only lanes and park on sidewalks, hindering pedestrians.
The service owners do not think that the Government efforts will pan out to anything. They plan to continue their operations as normal.