crime

2 pedestrians killed after being hit by traffic signal pole knocked over by dump truck

24 Comments

Police in Kasukabe, Saitama Prefecture, have arrested the driver of a dump truck that hit a traffic signal pole, knocking it over onto two pedestrians and killing them.

According to police, the incident occurred at 9:30 a.m. Monday in the Mashitomi district of Kasukabe. Fuji TV reported that the driver, Hiroaki Sanada, 28, crashed into a traffic signal pole which toppled over onto Yukihiro Magata, 50, and Yukio Hatano, 67, killing them.

Sanada was quoted by police as saying he was driving inattentively and abruptly turned the wheel left to avoid hitting the vehicle in front of him that had stopped at the traffic lights.

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24 Comments
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No one should die or suffer serious injury in traffic.

Life is Most Important. The protection of human life and health must be the overriding goal of traffic planning and engineering, taking priority over vehicle speeds and other objectives.

Every Person Matters. Everyone has the right to be safe on our streets, regardless of the way they choose to travel.

People Make Mistakes. In order to prevent and reduce death and serious injury, traffic systems can and must be designed to account for the inevitability of human error.
0 ( +5 / -5 )

Sanada was quoted by police as saying he was driving inattentively and abruptly turned the wheel left to avoid hitting the vehicle in front of him that had stopped at the traffic lights.

So, let's take a guess shall we? Texting? Reading the newspaper? Watching the schoolgirls?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

So, let's take a guess shall we? Texting? Reading the newspaper? Watching the schoolgirls?

Or maybe even just not paying attention. Go figure.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Strangerland: "Or maybe even just not paying attention. Go figure."

Yes, and 'not paying attention' means that your focus is elsewhere, like it would be while texting, reading the newspaper, or watching schoolgirls.

At least the guy admitted it was his fault. No doubt he'll be more attentive in prison for the rest of his life, and I hope life is what he gets.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

"the driver... crashed into a traffic signal pole which toppled over...killing them"

He must have been going some speed... :-(

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yes, and 'not paying attention' means that your focus is elsewhere, like it would be while texting, reading the newspaper, or watching schoolgirls.

Or maybe he got distracted by a speck of dust, or an itch, or was simply daydreaming, or was even watching what he was doing but not fully concentrating on it. There are a million options. But of course JT posters always have to blame it on something.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Even though dump truck drivers have the intellectual capacity of a particularly slow amoeba, I'd be reluctant to jump up and down on the driver just yet. As we all know, it only takes a moment's distraction for unintended consequences to happen.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He must have been going some speed... :-(

Not necessarily. Dump trucks are very heavy - they wouldn't need as much speed as say a car, to knock down a pole

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"they wouldn't need as much speed as say a car, to knock down a pole"

It's not about the speed needed to "knock down a pole" but for that speed to be transferred to the traffic pole, so that the residual speed of THE TRAFFIC POLE kills two people.

Two people who obviously couldn't get out of the way in time... :-(

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It's not about the speed needed to "knock down a pole" but for that speed to be transferred to the traffic pole, so that the residual speed of THE TRAFFIC POLE kills two people.

Again, not necessarily. Traffic poles have a lot of weight - simply falling on someone's head could be enough to kill them, without any 'residual speed'.

Two people who obviously couldn't get out of the way in time... :-(

They may not have seen it coming.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

"a dump truck that hit a traffic signal pole, KNOCKING IT OVER onto TWO pedestrians and KILLING THEM..."

@Strangerland - Please read the article again...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Nothing in it that contradicts anything I've said.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I see dump truck drivers as THE worst drivers around. They wait until only a few meters before an intersection to force their way into the far left lane because they didn't have "time" to wait in the longer left hand lane. They mow everything and everyone down just to get to their destination. And of course let's not forget the infamous flashing of their hazards which "gives them permission" to run red lights long after it has turned red. Of course I don't know what happened in this accident other than reading the article but it surprises me that there aren't more such accidents. Let's just all be safe.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

People Make Mistakes. In order to prevent and reduce death and serious injury, traffic systems can and must be designed to account for the inevitability of human error.

And yet even with all the prevention and attempts to reduce deaths by traffic accidents there is ZERO way to totally prevent them from occurring. (Oh there is one way, make everyone walk, but even then something will happen)

Sometimes accidents occur, and attempting to make them disappear is unrealistic. Accidents happen, and sometimes there is no one to blame.

Hell a typhoon blew over a telephone this past weekend in Yonaguni, going to "blame" the typhoon and expect compensation for mother nature?

It is 100% impossible to design a traffic system that is infallible because there is no way to compensate for potential human error.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Yubaru - I said "prevent and reduce death and injury". That can absolutely be done.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A few months ago, a white dump truck blew past me on a major road. It was so remarkable that I noted it to my family and said wow... that guy is going to kill somebody.

About three minutes and a couple of traffic lights up the road, we came to an intersection where this truck had hit the signal pole and another vehicle. The cab of the truck was bent AROUND the pole. The driver was in front of the cab just sitting on the road and the driver of the other vehicle was out walking around. It was the same truck. Same guy. I was impressed that the pole was bent, but had sustained the collision more or less intact.

I often rail at the fact that Japan has way too many stoplights, and speed limits seem generally to be 10 kph below any reasonable speed for traffic. But then you come across clowns like this who just don't even seem to care. No rules are going to be helpful if people just think they can ignore them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Maybe heavy truck drivers need extra instruction on concepts such as stopping with high weight vehicles, the idea of "stale greens", etc.

http://www.timescolonist.com/is-that-green-light-fresh-or-stale-1.24929

Is that green light fresh or stale?

Here is what good professional drivers do at intersections.

When approaching any intersection while the traffic light is solid green, it is important to identify whether the green light is "fresh" or "stale." Namely, has it recently turned green or has it been solid green for a long time? Never make a snap decision to go or stop on a surprise amber light change at an intersection. ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Strangerland Thank you for your tireless efforts to attempt to bring basic logic to this board.

Dump trucks are very heavy - they wouldn't need as much speed as say a car, to knock down a pole

Indeed. We all learned about momentum in high school, no?

It's not about the speed needed to "knock down a pole" but for that speed to be transferred to the traffic pole, so that the residual speed of THE TRAFFIC POLE kills two people.

@TheGodfather Did you graduate high school?

Other than that, it seems to be an argument about what people imagined from three short paragraphs and Strangerland trying to explain that imagination is not an eyewitness account. Limited imaginations don't help either.

Watching the schoolgirls?

@Disillusioned Fascinating what some people are obsessed to imagine.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Maybe heavy truck drivers need extra instruction on concepts such as stopping with high weight vehicles, the idea of "stale greens", etc.

Not always possible, though, is it? A better visual clue is a flashing green man. Then you know the lights are about to change.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A better visual clue is a flashing green man

Which is arguably a deadly hazard. Some drivers see it as a cue to decelerate and stop, while others (often assuming the car in front will maintain its momentum) see it as a challenge to beat the lights.

Japan needs traffic light cameras. That would put some manners on the truck drivers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@PeaceOut - Please read 5SpeedRacer5's "eye witness account"

"a white dump truck blew past me on a major road... that guy is going to kill somebody... I was impressed that the pole was [only] bent..."

PS - Yes I did, and in PURE MATHS and PHYSICS... ;-)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@ yokohamarides you wrote the following and read the last part again.....

traffic systems can and must be designed to account for the inevitability of human error.

There is no way to design a system that is capable of taking into account human error. Human error has almost endless possibilities.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I agree. Human error will be with us always. Pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers all make mistakes - they always will. However, mistakes made by people walking or on a bike almost never results in the death of any other person, while motor vehicles are the common factor in over 1.2 million collision deaths worldwide every single year.

Doesn`t it stand to reason that if the number of cars on the roads decreases the number of deaths will as well?

You will probably say that is unrealistic, and in some places you`d have a point, and in such cases other things can be done - ex. lowering speed limit, speed bumps, stop signs with enforcement, separated and protected, bicycle lanes, one way streets, narrower lanes etc are all things that have been proven to lower the motor vehicle fatality rate.

All you have to do is look to look to cities like Copenhagen or Amsterdam, or even cities now in the US that are working to repeat the success of Sweden`s "Vision Zero" program, to see that measures can be taken to reduce the number of "accidents" and deaths.

http://thecityfix.com/blog/7-proven-principles-designing-safer-city-ben-welle/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hear, hear, Yokohamarides,

Society everywhere is far too forgiving of this deadly elephant in the room. Both environment and vehicles can be greatly improved at a slight inconvenience and cost to motorists, but with significant benefits to communities.

Our dump truck driver would have paid more attention if traffic signals had red light cameras. Traffic calming in the form of road narrowing and one-way streets could complement widespread pedestrianisation, (why not turn one-in-three roads into cul-de-sacs?). Compensate drivers with fewer traffic signals and better flows on arterial routes, but place speed bumps and other interventions immediately on entry to, and at regular intervals in, low-speed zones.

Sensor technology, lane assistance and smart braking systems are already with us. There's no reason that we can't have low-cost tech for vehicles that detects inattention, screams at the driver, and brakes if no immediate response is elicited. Mandate them for new vehicles in the shaken system by 2018, offer tax breaks for cars and trucks that are safer for pedestrians, and market forces will do the rest.

My Bosch hedge trimmer has three triggers which all need to be activated to move the blades, requiring the palm and fingers of one, and the fingers of another separate adult hand. I can leave it near kids knowing that they cannot possibly hurt themselves. Why don't we do this for big ticket dump trucks?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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