crime

14-year-old girl riding bike seriously injured after being hit by car; driver arrested

33 Comments

A 14-year-old girl riding a bicycle was seriously injured after she was hit by a car in Ichinomiya, Aichi Prefecture, on Saturday night.

Police have arrested the driver of the car, a 27-year-old woman who works at a nursery school, on suspicion of dangerous driving resulting in injury, Kyodo News reported. The girl was not wearing a helmet and sustained a severe head injury, police said, adding she remained in a coma on Sunday.

According to police, the incident occurred at around7:55 p.m. Saturday at an intersection. The girl was crossing the street when she was hit from the side. The impact shattered the windscreen of the car.

There are no traffic lights or crosswalk at the intersection. Police quoted the driver as saying the cyclist appeared from the side suddenly in front of her.

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33 Comments
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And the cyclist had lights on the bicycle?

5 ( +14 / -9 )

Police quoted the driver as saying the cyclist appeared from the side suddenly in front of her.

It sounds like it may have been the cyclist's fault, not that that makes a difference in Japan.

20 ( +24 / -4 )

It sounds like it may have been the cyclist's fault

The description would also apply if the driver was not putting attention and did not notice the victim until it was too late.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The facts in the article are consistent with either of them being at fault so its hardto draw a conclusion.

Definitely brings home the importance of wearing helmets though.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

A 14 year old girl on a bicycle not wearing a helmet pulled out in front of a car and got seriously injured so they arrest the driver.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

7:55 is already fully dark these days and with no crosswalk or signal make for a dangerous recipe.

I'm not saying it was the girl's fault but under these same conditions on my bike, I take extra precaution and assume that no car is able to see me and ride likewise.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

It's dark these days by a little after 5.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Maybe they have cameras and video that can give a clearer picture. Hope the child recovers fully.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Bicycle riders and especially women with children seats, ride like nothing can touch them. I’m surprised this isn’t happening everyday. Did the bicycle even stop before crossing the road. And car drivers aren’t stopping before crossings. People have changed in tokyo at least. Expect country side to be even more dangerous. Girl not wearing helmet is her choice but how and when and where bike was crossing matters. If it was sidewalk and just blasted by carelessly then sorry.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

My heart goes out to the driver and the girl for a speedy recovery.

I have seen how teens ride on their bikes in this country and like any teen in any country they ride without a care in the world. Now, I am not saying this teen was doing that, however, from this story it appears it may have been so. The driver no matter how carefully she was driving if this teen just came out from nowhere in the dark the driver would have no chance to avoid her.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

I pray that the girl recovers fully.

As for comments about arresting the lady, she'll be fine. Hopefully, she is just concerned about the girl in the hospital. It doesn't really matter whose fault it was. Right?

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

"The girl was not wearing a helmet and sustained a severe head injury..."

If a person is not wearing a helmet and is seriously injured (to the head/brain, etc.) the fault in cases like this should be 100% on them. Unless we can verify the woman was negligent in her driving (ie. if the girl did indeed suddenly dart in front of her and the woman couldn't stop), why should it be her fault? If the girl dies from brain trauma, why should it be on this woman?

But hey... I could specifically name more than a few posters on here who have said they don't wear helmets because it would "mess up their hair". Make it law, NOW, and make that law come with a ¥100,000 automatic fine if not wearing one for the first offence, and ¥500,000 plus potential jail time for any subsequent offense for adults.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

No helmet, probably no lights and by the sounds of it going across the road in front of a car….arrest the parents for neglect.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Actually it's against the law. On paper, anyway. Not that you'd know it in this country. Cops don't seem to give a damn.

They "don't give a damn" because its not mandatory and there are no penalties for not wearing one. Not sure why its even classified as a "law" if its a recommendation with no penalties.

"Japan has introduced a new law that says everyone should wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. However, it's not mandatory, and there are no penalties if you don't. The law is doryoku-gimu — a Japanese term that means 'duty to make an effort'.

Hope the girl recovers, one thing about driving in Japan... even if you're not at fault... the one driving the car is immediately blamed. If I ever buy a car here I wont go anywhere without a drive recorder...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Which is why having a good dash-cam is necessary.

I had an experience that was a little similar to the articles a few years back. A girl darted out of a side lane - lane not a road - and crossed in front of me without blinking.

Only very heavy braking and a slow speed ( i had just entered the road) saved me from being arrested - oh and saved the girl's life in all probability.

My close friend who is my insurance agent told me after that to get on board camera. It took me a couple of years to finally get it done, but at least I have one leg to stand on in such and lesser cases.

And those lesser cases - been tons of them that could potentially be nasty.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Here's a news report with the scene. There is a stop sign and stop line for traffic on the side roads.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cM6vS6dj1es

3 ( +3 / -0 )

justasking

I have seen how teens ride on their bikes in this country and like any teen in any country they ride without a care in the world.

As do the young adults, middle-aged, and seniors in this country. Age doesn't seem to matter when it comes to poor cycling behavior here.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

kohakuebisu

Here's a news report with the scene. There is a stop sign and stop line for traffic on the side roads.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cM6vS6dj1es

Straight road with good lighting and clear vision. Looking at the damage to the car, and description of the accident, it really does seem like the cyclist just darted out from a side street, crosswalk, or driveway, with no warning for the driver.

If that was the case, and if the driver had a dashcam recording it, I wonder if she'd still be considered at fault, legally? That scenario crosses my mind almost daily, as I witness cyclists and pedestrians almost killing themselves by doing careless nonsense in front of me and other drivers. And, you better believe I have a dashcam, front and rear.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It gets dark at like 17:00 here now and pair that with driving in the country-side where there are sometimes NO lights for a few meters, it's easy to get hit by a car. What I don't get is how the little girl didn't see the driver's headlights. Hope she recovers. This is gonna be traumatizing for both of them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The cyclist probably jumped into the road without looking, maybe even looking at her smartphone.

That happened to a jhs student I had. He just jumped into the road on his bike without looking and was impacted an incoming truck. Sadly, he didn't make it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So people would rather risk serious injury or even death than wear a helmet??

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

smithinjapan

Really? Imprison non helmet wearers?

Its a good thing you aren’t in charge buddy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Really sad that this happened, but as other users have commented, I am surprised this doesn't happen more often with how dangerously cyclists ride in Japan. This is probably one of those cases where the bicyclist had the right how way on the crosswalk, but maybe she was coasting at a high speed downa hill and then tried to cross without stopping. In this case, you really can't blame the driver for being blindsided by the incident. It is really dangerous when people go as fast as cars on the pedestrian crosswalk. Drivers don't expect that kind of speed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Really hope she will be ok. Shows the importance of always wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

no lights no helmet.even no crossing.just appeared suddenly from nowhere.

very common in urban areas here.

no respect to others on road,bicycle is KING.own rules.i go where i want,as fast as want.

naplevat na vsex

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

the lack of people who look both ways before crossing a street is actually shocking. I hope the girl recovers and the driver isn't held liable.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If a person is not wearing a helmet and is seriously injured (to the head/brain, etc.) the fault in cases like this should be 100% on them. Unless we can verify the woman was negligent in her driving (ie. if the girl did indeed suddenly dart in front of her and the woman couldn't stop), why should it be her fault? If the girl dies from brain trauma, why should it be on this woman?

The principle of you taking your victims as you find them. Whether the girl is wearing a helmet doesn't significantly change whether the collision would have taken place. If it's going to be the woman's fault had the girl been wearing a helmet, then there's no reason to flip the fault around just because she wasn't.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The facts in the article are consistent with either of them being at fault so its hardto draw a conclusion.

This is one reason why Japanese fault allocations work the way they do - it's often not practical to get all the facts so everything centers around a few, easily determinable facts - whether they are on foot, bike or car, and what direction relationship they are. Biasing things against the car is because of the clear difference in vulnerability. Yes, bikers from the side might be hard to see, but the law tells the driver to do whatever it takes. The driver could have taken the intersection at walking pace - such that the cyclist can swerve ahead of the car and keep ahead. Or if neither can see the other, it could have been biker hits car rather than car hits biker - if the driver is sufficiently not at fault relative to the cyclist, the rules do allow for his payout to be minimal to nil.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hope that the injured girl recovers, but, at the same time, she should have been wearing a helmet, also, the driver could have paid more attention at the intersection, it's difficult to determine who is at fault here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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