Sexual offenses were the most cited reason for taxi license revocations in South Korea over the past four years, according to findings presented by Rep. Kim Sung-tae of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party on Tuesday.
Liberty Korea Party floor leader Kim found through data released by the Korea Transportation Safety Authority that from 2015 through August 2018, cases of taxi drivers committing sex-related crimes amounted to 217, the highest contributor to license terminations.
The next most common crimes following sexual assaults were “specific crimes liable to aggravated punishment,” or crimes compounded in their severity by the circumstances, which tallied 140, narcotics control abuses at 130, violent crimes at 50, violations of the act on the protection of children at 50 and violations of the Passenger Transport Service Act at 5.
The transportation authority is obliged to periodically look into criminal records of registered bus and taxi drivers. Should they find anything, authorities alert the local government to considering revoking the drivers’ licenses or terminating their employment.
As of August, 59 drivers should have had their license rescinded, but no action had been taken by the companies or local authorities as of yet. Rep. Kim urged action to be taken on drivers to prevent recurrences of the offenses.
In light of the revelation, an excerpt from American filmmaker and author Jackson Katz’s 2006 book “The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help” has gone viral via social media. In the book, Katz does a small study on gender disparity in terms of societal security and safety. He asks a group of men and women what steps they take on a daily basis to prevent sexual assault, and men homogenously answer that they do not think much about such a possibility, while women respond with more than 30 answers to the many ways they think of to defend themselves from sudden attacks.
Some of the answers given by women suggest they always go out in groups, check the backseat before getting in a car and make sure their family knows their itinerary.
By Lim Jeong-yeo (email@example.com)