This study starts to analyze actual railway safety policy in Korea. The keystone was built by the railway safety act, implemented in 2005 but there were several changes especially in 2014 by introducing railway safety management system(SMS). Nonetheless, Korean railway safety policy is still considered punitive than preventive, because of several reasons.
The railway safety act was conceived in 2004, the launching year of KTX. About 14 year after, railway users in Korea increase more than 60%. There is 14 millions users a day by the statistics of 2018. However, the railway safety system is not changed at all until the start. The supervise and monitor activities about railway undertaking and infrastructure managers, essential tasks for railway safety, are commissioned to TS, specialized in automobile safety activity. Otherwise, railway technical issues are also commissioned to KRRI, R&D Institute for railway industry.
In Europe, there exist directive EU 2016/798, equivalent to Korean railway safety act who recommend to establish national safety authority for each member country. National safety authority is responsible for every issues about railway safety such as authorization, certification, investigation, supervise, monitoring, etc. In Japan, there are no special institution for railway safety but there exist very strong constraints to railway undertaking. Europe and Japan oblige to publish report about railway safety annually in order to work systematical feedback. Korean air and marine transport safety system are operated by three steps; accident investigation, authorization & certification and supervise & monitor distinctive to industrial promotion activity. But in railway sector, KRRI is to act for industrial promotion but also safety regulation because he is commissioned to type approval(certification) by enforcement act of railway safety.
The first proposition of study is to establish railway safety authority in Korea, which carries out all tasks about railway safety, and report annually railway safety events, changes and legal improvement. The second is to shift railway safety policy more preventive and helpful for railway industry.