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Automakers see untapped market as Japanese 'paper drivers' ease onto roads

28 Comments
By Maki Shiraki

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© Thomson Reuters 2020.

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28 Comments
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PLEASE keep the paper drivers off the damn roads here! Things are bad enough without a bunch of idiots who spent literally hundreds of thousands of yen to get a license they dont need, and now want to drive.........

Thanks for nothing!

5 ( +15 / -10 )

Funny Yubaru...you want to keep me off the roads?

I live downtown, do not have a family and found myself paying for parking mostly and decided to not permanently own a vehicle.

As you often get worked up about, this is Japan, and you actually don’t need a car in Osaka.

I can “suddenly wanna drive” man, why would it instigate wrath from you?

6 ( +15 / -9 )

Oh boy. Time to be extra careful at pedestrian crossings. I'm already developing a crick in my neck from looking both ways over and over again until I'm safely across.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

So with you on that Yubaru!!

2 ( +9 / -7 )

In the age of coronavirus, public transport is no longer safe.

Cars and motorbikes are social distant forms of transport.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

As you often get worked up about, this is Japan, and you actually don’t need a car in Osaka.

Really? You have a better memory than me then! You my wife or something? There hasnt been an article like this here about "paper-drivers" in like....never!

Many people only get the license because everyone else does, and it adds something to their resume. Japanese corporations love seeing "licenses" and "certifications", whether they mean anything or not!

I have a 50 ton crane license, got it years ago, do you think I am going to suddenly go out, and start a job, using that license, just because I have it? Hell not, I dont want to KILL anyone by making a mistake, but I still have it, and NO I never write it on my resume either!

I get the "new" drivers on the road, and at least they have marks identifying them, same with the elderly, paper drivers...no such thing, and while you and them have every right, same as me, I pray you stay the hell out of everyone's way and dont kill anyone in the process!

0 ( +11 / -11 )

Great add them to the elderly on the roads and it’ll be a disaster. And people are worried about the coronavirus

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Everyone has a right to drive if able to and can do so safely.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Virus spread in public transport is of course not impossible but mostly a myth.

Nobody talks, nearly everyone wear a mask and refrain from coughing. All simulations are made with people not wearing a mask and coughing as usual.

Restaurants, bars, companies offices are much more dangerous

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I third Yaburu's statements. Paper drivers are such a nuisance and a danger to society, but the stupid drivers' licensing system reward these drivers by giving them gold licenses because little or no activity equals no moving violations, which translates into lower insurance payments. Just a suggestion, but driver's licenses should be tied into the ETC (highway toll system) so that they can monitor mileage and activity on the licenses, so they can weed out paper drivers (who are arguably more higher risk drivers than active blue license drivers), and paper drivers should be required retest regularly to retain their licenses.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

No! Along with tapping the market, they'll have people tapping others' cars

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Damn, looks like a totalitarian country in this comments section.

Someone hasn't drive for 10 years so he should never drive again? Gimme a break.

Most people drive like idiots, paper driver or not, at least the guy in the article had the good idea to take some lessons before going back on the roads, I wonder if the awesome drivers Subaru and Mirai Hayashi would have done the same.

Hey Mirai Hayashi, where are your statistics to back up your claims that paper drivers are a "nuisance" and a "danger to society" ? I watch the news everyday, most of the car accidents if not all are not because of paper drivers so far.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

@kurisupisu

"Everyone has a right to drive if able to and can do so safely."

Hold up, might want to walk some of that back. Driving is a "privilege".

Sometimes you have to be a "paper driver". You may not own or rent a car, but there (apparently) a lot of jobs here where "no license need not apply".

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"The 32-year old engineer, a self-described "poor driver"

He'll fit in well here then.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'm a cyclist and an environmentalist, but to be honest, I don't think these people being paper drivers is a good thing. That is because the main reason is a falling standard of living. Many of the same people would have had a car they barely drove as a status symbol one generation ago (1980s/1990s). Even young blokes in the early 90s would tell me they needed a car to go on dates. People now cannot afford it. In the 1980s and 1990s, people did not buy things in 100 yen shops or cheap clothes shops like Uniqlo either.

I buy almost everything second hand, so I'm not against thrift or frugality per se. I am against falling standards of living.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

akerusan

First of all, people who haven't driven in a while, lose confidence in their driving ability ...this is a fact -that's why all of these driving schools offer brush up courses. But these courses can be expensive, so some people jump into cars and to try to drive, not realizing that perhaps the roads have changed a bit, or that there are more cars on the road, or there are more pedestrians and cyclist that they have to be more aware of, or simply that some traffic laws have changed since they last drove. Some people even forget how to even start a car -not kidding.

So when these paper drivers, who have "immaculate" driving records from being inactive so long, go out on the road, they are essentially like brand new drivers trying to learn to drive again. Arguably they are worse, because they are older drivers who can't pick things up as quickly as a 20-something, hence they are more susceptible to getting into accidents.

take a look at this article and you'll see what I mean:

https://kuruma-news.jp/post/182588

1 ( +5 / -4 )

"Paper Drivers" need time and experience to become better drivers, just like everyone else. We were all new drivers once, remember. And as mentioned previously in these comments, it's not like the average driver in Japan is all that fantastic, anyway.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sorry folks, the vast majority of paper drivers should NOT be driving, they got their license & then never drove, so it might be a year since they got the license or many decades!!

For folks who just got their license it wont take long for them for forget how to drive, how do I know, when the Mrs got her license in fall about 16yrs ago, she DIDNT want to get the license right away because winter is cold......fast forward to spring & she was failing her license test 5-6 times. I took her out driving where no cars were around & I quickly ENDED that as it s frankly scary as hell. So then I ended up paying about Y400,000 in refresher courses & my wife was only dormant maybe 6months!!

Encouraging paper drivers who have been off the road for a long time WILL get people injured & killed PERIOD!!  Those that have driven off & on should be fine, how to define what is fine....don't ask me. I would say use common sense but that is severely lacking on these isles.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Everyone has a right to drive if able to and can do so safely.

No they definitely do not "have the right"! There is a reason there is a licensing process and furthermore, just because you have a license to drive, does not mean you CAN do so safely either!

Paper Drivers" need time and experience to become better drivers, just like everyone else. We were all new drivers once, remember. And as mentioned previously in these comments, it's not like the average driver in Japan is all that fantastic, anyway.

That is why they tag new drivers with a mark on their car to let everyone know they are "new".

You stop driving for 5 or 10 years, then get back on the road, with only the "license" to say that you have the privileged to drive, you are basically ASKING for an accident to happen!

It takes at least that year, of regularly drving to gain some experience, and to learn how to react in countless different situations!

Paper drivers should put the damn "new driver" mark on their car, if not for themselves, for EVERYONE else who has to look out for them!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Mirai Hayashi

One could say that because paper drivers lack confidence they are more carefull, I don't know for Japan but back in my country most accidents happens on peoples' "daily roads", and the main reason for that is that people get cocky after a while and stop paying attention.

A paper driver is just like a fresh new driver (some drivers get their licence by only driving in the school training roads, so zero real life experience, that was my case when I get my motorcycle licence here), they start from the bottom like everybody else.

Concerning their "gold" licence, yes that's stupid, but what do you care? Other people licence color has no meaning other that for the insurance.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I have no idea what the writer is talking about as there are so many empty parking spaces in central Tokyo. They are everywhere and they are available.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We would welcome any increase in the number of drivers on the road," a salesman at a Toyota dealership told Reuters.

This would just be replacing one crisis with another, wouldn’t it? - driving out demons by Beelzebub - but what else is a Toyota salesman going to say?

More people driving will only lead to more traffic deaths and injuries, as well as an increase in air and noise pollution levels.

Before, we encourage driving and car ownership by giving in to never ending auto industry demands for the public to cede more and more valuable city space for automobile use and storage, can we at least make sure we are doing everything possible to make other, more responsible/less harmful, forms of transportation safe and viable?

I know not everyone can ride a bike to work but many who aren’t now, can, and many more will happily do so, as long as it is made safer. A network of protected bicycle lanes would be a much better investment for the future of Tokyo than wider roads, hideous highways and more car parks/parking craters. Other major cities around the world are doing exactly this - and once people see the difference it makes to their city they don’t want to go back to how things were.

There is a change.org signature campaign now ongoing calling for better/safer streets with temporary biking infrastructure so more people can avoid unnecessary car trips and crowded trains by biking instead. Please help us get to 500 signatures.

http://chng.it/vqdmN4fPpz

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

One could say that because paper drivers lack confidence they are more carefull,

You can be as careful as you want, but at the end of the day, "carefulness" won't save you from hitting a cyclist or pedestrian who completely ignores a red light or stop sign and crossed in front of you. Good driving skills and experience will, and that's not something you acquire at a driving school.

Case in point, I got my driver's license when I was 16, and had been driving for at least 10 years before I got my Japanese license. But even so, none of that prepared me for the narrow roads, cyclist who completely disregard traffic laws, people who cross the street right in front of a moving car (with the expectation that the car will be able stop in time)...all of which is very common in Japan. Its about SKILL and EXPERIENCE, and paper drivers don't have either.

Concerning their "gold" licence, yes that's stupid, but what do you care?

I don't ...I'm just saying that its a common misnomer that a gold license means that you're a good driver. And for testing centers and insurance companies that give special perks and advantages to those who haven't had any infractions in 5 years by sheer avoidance is stupid and the system should be redone. If you're going to reward people for good driving habits, then perhaps you should make sure that they actually drive.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

But even so, none of that prepared me for the narrow roads, cyclist who completely disregard traffic laws, people who cross the street right in front of a moving car

I don't follow, cyclist disregard traffic laws, people cross the street in front of your car, and still the problem for you is with the paper drivers that are "a danger for society" ??? That doesn't make any sense...

Good driving skills and experience will, and that's not something you acquire at a driving school.

We all start our experience at zero, I don't understand what you are trying to say and how that is supposed to back up your claim about stopping paper driver from driving.

The only thing I could agree on would be to make mandatory to pass some lessons if you haven't drive for a very long time. But that's not something possible at the moment.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Frankly, given the level of local driving ability, I doubt anyone will notice more incompetent motorists. I nearly got hit head on yesterday by some geriatric driving on the wrong side of the road coming around a curve.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just make it mandatory to have collision systems built into new cars, such as autobreaking.

Cars can have black boxes too that record all the parameters and this can be used if there's been an accident.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

LOL Yes Yubaru a 50 ton crane license (which is no doubt long expired) is an excellent example. Anyways, interesting how different people get all worked up about stuff.

I will continue to drive and buy vehicles precisely the way it suits my life thank you very much.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I'd wish cycling was promoted more.

Or even more affordable e-vehicles - but, please, no more of those the Brazil-esque "car"-share vehicles that are sitting around Tokyo station. I've never seen anyone alive in one of those... at least I share something in Common with the rest of the Toyko-ites.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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