Court Rules Driver Cannot be Punished for Speeding-Related Death If No Time to Avoid Accident Identified

Court Acquits Driver in Fatal Speeding Accident

On December 2021, the Seoul Central District Court’s 25th Criminal Division delivered its verdict, acquitting a driver in his 50s who had been accused of causing the death of a 70-year-old pedestrian while speeding through Gwanak-gu, Seoul.

After carefully examining the evidence presented, the court concluded that it could not be definitively proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver could have foreseen or avoided the tragic accident.

The prosecution argued that the driver, in the midst of rainfall, had a responsibility to exercise caution. They alleged that he was driving at a speed of 69.1 kilometers per hour, surpassing the legal limit of 40 kilometers per hour.

However, the court observed, “Within a fraction of a second, the victim, who was wearing dark clothing, appeared and collided with the defendant’s vehicle. Even the vehicle preceding the driver managed to narrowly evade the pedestrian after spotting them.”

Justice Served

This ruling emphasizes the crucial role of evidence and the need to establish a clear basis for culpability beyond reasonable doubt. It underlines the importance of considering the circumstances and the limited reaction time available to the driver.

While tragic, this case serves as a reminder of the complexities surrounding accidents and the challenges faced by both the court and the prosecution in determining responsibility.

Moving forward, it is essential to continue striving for road safety through comprehensive measures that address speed limits, pedestrian visibility, and driver education to prevent such accidents from occurring in the first place.

The court ruled that even if a person were to hit and die due to speeding, the driver cannot be punished if there was no time to avoid it.

On the morning of December 2021, the 25th Criminal Division of the Seoul Central District Court acquitted a driver in his 50s who was accused of hitting and killing a jay man in his 70s while speeding on a road in Gwanak-gu, Seoul.

The court ruled, “It is difficult to say that it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the accident could have been foreseen and avoided based on the evidence presented alone.”

The prosecution argued that although the driver had a duty of care due to the rain, he was driving at 69.1 kilometers per hour, exceeding the speed limit of 40 kilometers per hour.

However, the court noted, “It took less than a second or two to recognize the victim, who was dressed in dark clothing, and collided, and the vehicle in front of him also saw the victim and narrowly avoided him .”

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