| Actress Kim Jeong-nan hosts a radio program on the radio station TBS from midnight to 2 a.m. She says she feels nervous every time she reports traffic conditions because of news on accidents.
Kim, 42, is not like Park Min-sook, the character she played in the popular TV drama "Gentlemen`s Dignity" that ended in August last year. Park was an arrogant woman who owned several buildings in the affluent area of southern Seoul.
As a radio DJ, Kim is more tenderhearted. "I hope for no traffic accidents today, but there are very few days without accidents." Traffic accidents that occur after midnight mostly involve speeding that often lead to severe casualties.
In an interview with The Dong-A Ilbo, she said, "I was a bad driver myself," adding, "I thought that traffic accidents were other people`s affairs." Kim got her driver`s license at age 22, and said she drove poorly throughout most of the past 20 years. She said she sped when no cars were on the street and was happy when she cut in or passed other cars.
"I feel so ashamed that my bad driving could`ve made many people frustrated and feel endangered. I`ve come to understand that giving way to other cars is good not because I lack driving skills, but because it helps other people," she said.
On what score she can give her driving now, she proudly said, "Ninety points out of 100!" When asked why she gave herself such a high rating, she answered with a smile, "I follow traffic rules well, including fastening my seatbelt and observing stop signs and speed limits."
Kim said she wanted to change her driving habits after seeing a serious accident. Four years ago, she saw a speeding taxi crash into a motorcycle standing at a lane next to hers in front of an intersection on a red light. The rider of the motorcycle fainted and flew in the air.
She said she can never forget the victim`s face. "I was shocked that I almost fainted. The motorcycle had followed the signal and then had an accident all of a sudden. I then mended my driving habits," she said.
When her manager tries to speed in a car due to their busy schedule, she said she tells him to drive safely and be a little late. Kim admits that she sometimes uses her mobile phone while driving, and this is why she did not give herself 100 points. She is aware that using a speakerphone or earphone reduces the chance of accident, but said cannot help checking messages on her phone.
The actress and radio DJ said she will join the Dong-A campaign to eradicate bad driving and will not use mobile phones while driving. Two days after the interview, a Dong-A reporter sent her a text message asking if she is keeping this promise, and she said yes.