By Pfc. Lee Min-hwi (USAG-Yongsan)June 10, 2008
YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea Aca,!" Yongsan Garrison officials are warning drivers to avoid using illegal U-turns into Camp Kim.
Aca,!A"The problem is that a large number of drivers disregard traffic laws and imitate bad behaviors,Aca,!A? said Russell Obey, U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan safety and occupational health manager. Aca,!A"The results could be catastrophic.Aca,!A?
Because of a bus lane on the main road in front of Camp Kim, U-turns or left turns into Camp Kim are illegal according to Korean traffic law. U.S. Forces Korea Pamphlet 385-2 Aca,!A"Safe Driving in KoreaAca,!A? also notes that Aca,!A"drivers can only make U-turns at intersections where designated U-turn signs are posted.Aca,!A?
Aca,!A"Drivers must follow the established traffic pattern, meaning you must continue on until finding a safe and legal way to turn around,Aca,!A? Obey said.
He recommends drivers going to Camp Kim leave through Gate 20 and follow the roads behind Camp Coiner that join to the Camp Kim road. Aca,!A"This may seem like a longer way, but itAca,!a,,cs safe and legal,Aca,!A? he said.
Aca,!A"No U-turnAca,!A? signs are posted outside Camp Kim.
Ricky Oxendine, USAG-Yongsan Emergency Services director, said accidents have occurred before outside Camp Kim and could easily happen again.
Aca,!A"Earlier this year, we had an incident involving an individual who made an illegal U-turn in the bus lane, causing a bus driver to swerve to avoid hitting the vehicle. The bus ran into the perimeter wall of Camp Kim, many individuals riding in the bus had injuries,Aca,!A? Oxendine said.
He noted that violators who conduct illegal U-turns would be subject to Korean traffic laws appropriately.
Aca,!A"Anyone operating a vehicle off a USFK installation is subject to Korean traffic laws,Aca,!A? Oxendine said. Aca,!A"We all must obey the traffic laws.Aca,!A?
No left turn into Gate 1
Safety officials caution drivers that the intersection at Gate 1 can easily create traffic problems.
Aca,!A"A left turn into Gate 1 is illegal because no left-turn signal exists,Aca,!A? Obey said.
He added that drivers cannot cross from the other side of the intersection.
Aca,!A"There is no light signal that allows this,Aca,!A? Obey said. Aca,!A"We have a lot of people who live in the new high-rise buildings across the street, but they cannot drive through the intersection into Gate 1. They have to turn right only. If they cross, they are guessing and we donAca,!a,,ct want them to guess wrong.Aca,!A?
He said his office is working with Yongsan district officials to consider adjusting signals to help make it easier to enter Gate 1.