Here in Korea, the people think of traffic laws of being more of suggestions than laws. If the speed limit is 80 kilometers per hour, but they want to go 100 kilometers per hour, they will go 100 kilometers per hour until the traffic camera, and then slow down to 80 kilometers per hour, and after the camera, they will go right back up to 100 kilometers per hour. There are no policemen out there stopping them and giving them tickets. If they feel like running a stop light, and there are no cars in the way, they will go ahead and run the stop light. If there are double yellow lines, but they want to go that way, as long as they think they won’t get hit, they will go ahead and cross the double yellow lines. If there is a place they want to park, but they don’t have permission to park there, they will park there anyway. The problem with parking, though, is that their car is left there when they park.
They get away with the other infractions because the police don’t pull people over for the most part. They think they will get away with parking where they aren’t supposed to. There are places where if you park, the police will take a picture of your car and then send you a parking ticket in the mail, and there is one of two places they ask you to pay these. Usually, you pay at the bank, but at times, there are special motorist’s offices, and the people will send you there to pay. However, there are other places where the police ignore that you have parked there even though theoretically, you shouldn’t be parked there.
Just because the police don’t say anything about where you have parked, It don’t mean the the people won’t. If there is a parking place in front of a store or restaurant, and you try to park there, but don’t plan on going into that particular store or restaurant, the owner will figure it out and come out and chase you away. A lot of big stores put someone in a little booth at the exit to their parking lots and charge you for parking if you can’t produce a receipt showing that you bought something. In fact, if you go to some places, they will see how much you spent, and if you haven’t spent enough, they will still charge you. In fact, lately, E-Mart, where I have never had to pay to park before has recently installed new machines where you have to scan your receipt and put your license plate number in the machine or you will be charged for parking by a machine when you leaved. I ate lunch at the food court with a friend today, and the friend paid the bill. When I left, I forgot about their new system, and as I began to exit, they were going to charge me about $14.00 in Korean money for parking there. Thankfully, an E-Mart employee was at hand and I showed them my Burger King cup and explained to them that my friend had paid for our lunch, and the employee let me out without paying the $14.00.
They are very controlling when it comes to parking places. The police don’t have to control the motorists when they park. The people control one another with their parking. In fact, there is a system they use when you park in an apartment parking lot where you don’t belong. Even if you live there, if you park in a way they don’t like, you could get one of these tickets. If you live in an apartment, you must have a sticker to park in that parking lot. If you don’t, they may give you one of these pain in the neck tickets.
I saw one on a car today, and I feel sorry for the person who got it. You don’t have to pay like a regular parking ticket, but you really don’t want one of their tickets. It is a big adhesive sign stuck to your windshield that is terribly hard to get off. It is designed to really fix hard to your windshield and mess it up. It takes a big effort to get it off. No one wants one of those on their windshield. The police are not the ones who put them there, but the guard of the building where the parking lot is put them on the car.
One of the big problems is that the parking lots are too small for the amount of cars that must be parked there. If all the spaces are full, and you come home, you have to figure out a place to park, and I have gotten one when all the parking places were filled and I couldn’t figure out where to park before. Thankfully, when I went to the gas station, the attendant helped me get the big sticky thing off my windshield. The guards also at times decided they want all the cars uniform and what everyone to back into their spaces or to drive frontwards into the spaces. The cars that are not parked the direction they like may have one of these stickers on them. I am not sure why the car I saw today got one, but perhaps they don’t have a sticker to park in our parking lot. The Koreans are very controlling when it comes to parking.