crime

6-yr-old girl dies after car plows into schoolchildren in Osaka

79 Comments

Police said Tuesday they have arrested the driver of a car that plowed into a group of elementary school children, killing one girl, as they crossed an intersection in Osaka on Monday.

According to police, the incident took place in Tamatsukuri, Chuo Ward, at around 3:10 p.m. as the children were leaving school and heading to an after-school day-care center. The 65-year-old driver, who has been named as real estate company employee Koichi Sato, allegedly drove his car into a group of children as they filed across the road, TBS reported.

Police say a six-year-old girl, Chiori Arii, was killed. Sato was arrested on a charge of negligent driving resulting in death, police said. He was quoted by police as saying that he didn't check properly for pedestrians as he turned right at the corner.

© Japan Today

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79 Comments
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Oh Dear God please, not again. And before anyone says anything - those kids are led from school to Gakkudo by a teacher so they were not unsupervised.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Again? What the hell? Seems children are targets for drivers? I feel sick

5 ( +7 / -3 )

He was quoted by police as saying that he didn’t check properly for pedestrians as he turned the corner.

Sounds like your typical poor observational awareness skills Japanese driver. Something has to done.The driving standards I have seen over the last 12 years are shocking. Also, the police should be taught and motivated to actually enforce the law when it comes to driving offenses. Too many idiots and unsafe drivers get away far too often which just causes complacency and a delusional thoughts of 'I am a safe driver'...

How many of us have seen the j-cops just sit there and watch while people do all sorts of dangerous acts in their cars... (No seat belts, running red lights, sudden lane changes, turning without indicating, running red lights, talking on phone, sending/reading text messages etc, etc) just stand besides any road at anytime and within a minute or two you'll witness exactly what I mean about the lack of common sense and safety standards when driving...

RIP little girl, I am extremely angry that you died due to some totally selfish and incompetent driver.

17 ( +18 / -3 )

Seems like a trend in the Kansai area...lots of people who shouldn't be driving. But that said, the roads are too narrow as well.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Again?!

Japanese, in general, are terrible drivers I've always thought. It seems I was correct. They don't seem able to focus on anything that isn't straight in front of them, it could be argued this is true in general Japan life as well.

How about the police get round to banning TV's from the driver's dashboard? That might be a start. These are not allowed in the UK and seem extremely dangerous distractions to a driver.

14 ( +15 / -2 )

Not defending the guy! Not defending the guy! Not defending the guy!

But, why is there no posted school zones were you must slow down to a crawl? On all bases in Okinawa and every American school district the signs are posted, the street is marked, the flashing sign lit and at the beginning of each school year, the Security Police are there to let you know if you are going 2 KPH over the 25 KPH posted limit, you will be ticketed.

Can't be enough said about protecting the children.

11 ( +11 / -1 )

Can't be enough said about protecting the children.

Oh yes there can.

How about the police get round to banning TV's from the driver's dashboard?

Did that cause any of the accidents we have seen recently? People drive with those all the time. How many accidents were caused by them?

The zero tolerance drunk driving policy also does not seem to have really done anything. Neither has banning talking on cell phones. Nixing freedom on hope alone is a bad way to go. Look at the actual factors causing the accidents. Don't make rules based on what is popular sentiment.

What I have noticed over and over is that so many of these accidents are caused by people over 60, both as drivers and pedestrians. More strict licensing for the elderly might have saved a kid's life. Banning TVs in dashboards would have done nothing. But its not popular to point to the elderly, so yeah, I can totally see dashboard TVs getting banned while the old continue to kill people on the road.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Not defending the guy! Not defending the guy! Not defending the guy!

I agree with your comments for notification of school zones along the road near schools. But also, I want to know if the kids were walking in a cross walk. Even with a cross walk, some people still think that a car can stop on a dime and allow them to cross. Also, was there a sidewalk the kids were walking on or in the street? I mention this becuase I have seen kids and adults walk in the middle of the street as if they were a car and not be aware of what is going on around them in regards to traffic flow.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

OK people, let's be fair here. This type of sad incident goes on all over the world, daily, and mostly they are accidents. Drivers here are no worse than anywhere else and sometimes better, considering all of the obstacles every second. I do agree that better safety measures could be taken around schools; i. e. posted speed limits, flashing lights and bright signs. And, it would indeed help if people were cited often for using keitais while driving, letting kids run around inside the car, holding doggies and children in their laps (sometimes at the wheel), etc. This is sad indeed and I grieve for the parents, siblings, and friends of this child.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

AGAIN? It seems like lately, every few days some idiot runs over school children.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Tokyokawasaki

Very well put; nail firmly hit on head.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

65 year old driver? Why am I not so surprised... The frequency of this occurring in Japan is starting to look almost like terrorist cult activity from the aged. When will the government learn that old people, pedestrians, and cars don't mix. They really should implement stricter screening and more frequent and regular driver licence testing to everyone older than 60. Poor kids... RIP.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

All I can say is wtf and I feel really sorry for those parents. Tragic this happens so often lately.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Jesus - he was 65, not 85. Most 65 year olds I know still have their wits perfectly about them. This is nothing to do with age and everything to do with being a crap driver and not paying attention. The previous drivers in recent accidents were 18, 20 and 37 I believe - so hardly candidates for the dementia excuse.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

some people still think that a car can stop on a dime and allow them to cross.

True.

However, as an example how this problem has been solved in other countries: in my home country, if all you look forward is the distance equivalent to the diameter of that dime, then you are legally obligated to be able to stop in just that distance by adjusting your situational velocity appropriately. It is a good rule.

Children are unpredictable in traffic, that is almost a law of nature. But that is not illegal so as to constitute a capital punishment deliverable by just anybody. Responsibility belongs to those drivers who choose not to be vigilant in traffic.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is terrible.

Why are Japanese drivers allowed to drive through pedestrian crossings when the 'walk' sign is on anyway? The number of times I've had to run across the road, while in the UK I have the right of way. They just creep across the zebra crossing, honking if you don't move quickly enough.

If there is a law in Japan which states drivers cannot go when the 'walk' sign is lit then why is it not being enforced? Little children should be protected at all costs, as should the safety of all pedestrians using marked crossings.

RIP little girl

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just now I saw this Dump Truck Plowing down the road and it is raining, he would never been able to stop if a child would have put up his/her hand to make a crossing, Drivers here need to consider time zones, at certain times, there should be speed decrease enforced or Speed Bumps put around school areas..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Again? How many times over the past few weeks has this occurred now? RIP to that poor little girl and thoughts with her family at this sad time :(

With the driving test do you only have to be able to turn the engine on to pass? I passed mine in the UK so I wouldn't know. But if theres so many incompetent drivers out there on the Japanese roads perhaps its time to introduce a new exam which is harder to pass. The gov shouldn't just look at that though. They should also improve sidewalks, improve pedestrian crossings and tell the j-cops to stop looking up school girls skirts and actually police the roads!

I would not feel comfortable letting the things most precious to me in this world walk to school without me.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He was quoted by police as saying that he didn’t check properly for pedestrians as he turned the corner.

So he's turning a corner (meaning he should be traveling slowly). And the kids are filing over the crossing (meaning he should be able to see them).

How could this happen?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is happening way too much now. Japan needs to enact new laws/procedures for driving in school zones, especially with the amount of children walking to school over here. It would be GREAT if like OkinawaMike said, they post bright flashing lights, posted speed limit for school zones (lower than speed limit on regular streets) and actually had police enforce these laws. The way some people drive through school zones over here is crazy. Down here in Okinawa, when driving through the school zones (on base of course), you can see many brake lights on because the speed is drastically reduced to ensure you can make "stop on a dime" if needed. Another child taken way before her time. RIP little girl.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@genki5,

There are a bunch of rather crappy drivers here. After having some close calls myself I wouldn't say they are anywhere close to better than anywhete else in the world. Here, it doesn't seem to be high speed that kills, though. Instead driver's seem to be unattentive or distracted by other things, thing that have nothing with driving to do.

@valued_customer, Your conclusions about TV's in cars and drinking in combination with driving are right out the window. You can't be serious when you think driving will be UNAFFECTED by some joker having a few drinks, right? Or watching TV while driving? Distractions are distractions and the will have impact on reaction times.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It seems that not a day goes by in which a child's death could have been prevented from someone's negligence. Regardless of age or excuse all of these vehicular manslaughter criminals need to be locked away for good. Clearly whatever punishment is being dealt out at the moment is not enough to deter them from driving irresponsibly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

it is so darn annoying to read these kinds of articles over and over again. Drivers in Japan need to wake up to themselves. I cannot count the amount of times I have nearly been cleaned up by some idiot that refuses to stop at a crossing. And, don't start me on red light runners. C'mon j-flops! Get out there and stop these irresponsible twits killing kids. Please!!!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He 'didn't check properly for pedestrians' when he turned the corner, eh? Which is to say, he sped through a red light.

I wonder if the day will ever come when police here do their jobs outside of pulling over bicycles or being a bit tougher during 'traffic safety week'. All they need do is look outside the Koban and they'd see heaps of traffic violations.... but then... how would they catch the offenders on this rickety bikes?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

AGAIN??? This is happening WAY TOO often! I feel for the families of the children involved......more driver education required????

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Idiot

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Okinawamike is spot on! That is exactly right. They do have signs here posted but they are so insignificant. They don't stand out at all and all it says is: スクールゾーン They need to have the same flashing lights as they do on American military bases and the U.S. - - - and then ENFORCE the rules! Geez!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ smithinjapan

Actually, in this case, he wasn't running a red-light, the traffic light would have been green. At many cross-junctions, right-turning vehicles are supposed to make their turn if there are 1) no straight-going cars from the opposite direction and 2) no pedestrians on the crossing - if there are for any of the above 2 conditions, they are allowed to move into the "ready" position and stop, and then to make the turn once their way is clear. This is the standard system in many different countries as well.

In this case, the fault is really on the driver. You slow down before making a turn, and then hold a steady speed when doing the turn, and speed up after you are in your new lane - this is so that you can brake at any time if a pedestrian decides to dash out. No driver would get a liscense without knowing this. The only reason he would not have braked in time would be that he was going way too fast for a safe turn - the fact that he caused a death is pretty much empirical evidence of that.

RIP.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I hate to say this but this is how I feel. Accidents resulting in property damage, serious injury, and death stimulates the economy. When there is an accident resulting in any of the above-mentioned items, money starts to flow. Insurances have to pay up, fines have to be paid, etc, etc. If there were never any accidents, then money would not flow. Sad but very true - - - all at the expense of lives lost and pain and suffering.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

RIP little girl, I am extremely angry that you died due to some totally selfish and incompetent driver.

Add to that a lazy ineffectual police force based on reactive not proactive policing. The cops have laws but when their focus is on one particular crime they more often than not pretend not to see the rest, put it down to lack of initiative or individual gonads . Witness the crackdown on cyclists after one old lady was killed by one in Tokyo last year.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There are also flashing lights outside schools in the UK, along with warnings and road markings.

When I was in Matsudo in November I was nearly run down by some idiot while I was crossing with the 'walk' sign and music playing. A koban was just nearby... can someone clarify for me just WHY Japanese drivers can drive through a pedestrian crossing while the 'walk' sign is illuminated? I've seen drivers in Japan do this time and time again.

I asked my ex but she just said drivers always have the right of way.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why is it so hard in Japan for ppl to do a simple and quick shoulder check ... omg ... only 6 years old.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just report my comments from last week, and the week before and the week before that...

Funny, they banned knives after one incident, they got rid of revolving doors after one incident... Why is mowing down kids not pushing the government to do something about the quality of drivers??

I am really hoping these kids aren't from my former school. RIP little one.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Speed bumps may help make it safer around the school zones.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Crazy Joe

Speed bumps may help make it safer around the school zones.

Yes! Simple and effective.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I asked my ex but she just said drivers always have the right of way.

That attitude they had is whats getting innocent children killed on the roads. The driver doesn't always have the right of way and its common sense to stop at the crossing when its a red light for us and a green man for the pedestrian. A attitude of ''I always have right of way'' wouldn't hold water in court.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Stupid stupid driver!!! RIP little girl. :(

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Poor thing... RIP!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@KariHaruka

The driver doesn't always have the right of way and its common sense to stop at the crossing when its a red light for us and a green man for the pedestrian

You're right of course, but some drivers still ignore the 'walk' signs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People everywhere get run over at crosswalks due to to inproper checking before hand. When you are turning left you are looking to the traffic oncoming from the right. Often when the traffic is active you are really concentrating on finding a gap to pull into.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The guy was the company president, and he was turning into the street where his office is, something he did several times a day for years. There are no lights there, no lines on the road surface, and no pedestrian crossing. The lady in charge was walking at the front of the small group of kids. The children would have presented a low profile. The guy hit the second-to-last child. He admitted his negligence straight away. People hit kids in every society, sometimes in their own driveway, and it is always a desperately sad moment.

All we can definitely say is that the guy wasn't paying attention, as he admitted. Driving without due care and attention, negligent homicide.

If we want to blame something, it must the junky squashed nature of Japanese city streets, and the all-too-human tendency to lose concentration for a moment.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nah... drivers are horrible here. Worse than home for sure. Cops will nail you at home for running lights, not signaling, not following right of way rules (getting cut off), and breaking and then signaling late just as you turn, and parking on the side of main roads. Thats a fact! Everyone goes to driving school here but they cant drive. I was going down a main road the other day and it was raining, this lady decides to pull out from a stop and turn left 20 metres further down. Almost killed me. She got a piece of my mind. A quick bow and a blank stare was her response. Ridiculous! Ive gone to the cop station countless times to tell them to pay attention to dangerous drivers. They dont care. Theyd rather pick a dead body off the street. I cant vote but I pay taxes. Nothing wrong with telling them. Worst drivers.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I jaywalk at will. All these stories tell you why. I never expect cars to stop. I walk along until there aren't any, then cross whereever. How many million times have I seen the light turn green for both cars and pedestrians, and cars turn and almost run down a pedestrian or bicyclist in the process? I avoid playing that game as much as possible. There are no car stopping invisible barriers on the sides of crosswalks. Use one or no, its all the same. You got to open your eyes and make sure the coast is clear.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

According to an eyewitness, the driver waited for the children to cross, and then turned in, but one of the kids suddenly turned back and got run over... and see in the picture that there is no 'crossing' per se.

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20120514-00000568-san-soci

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You're right of course, but some drivers still ignore the 'walk' signs.

Just as some pedestrians ignore the "don't walk" signs. Excuse the pun, but this is truly a two-way street!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

But, why is there no posted school zones were you must slow down to a crawl? On all bases in Okinawa and every American school district the signs are posted, the street is marked, the flashing sign lit and at the beginning of each school year, the Security Police are there to let you know if you are going 2 KPH over the 25 KPH posted limit, you will be ticketed.

Something tells me the guy wasn't doing 25 Kph when turning a corner otherwise more kids would have died.

Without having witnessed the accident I know exactly what happened, Guy has a green light and that registers "Go" in his brain. He is still in this "Go" mindset as he approaches the corner and turns without checking for pedestrians. Lazy driving habits have resulted in the death of another young child. I feel so sorry for the child's parents and hope this guy's life gets permanently altered.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I got done for speeding once in Tokyo. It cost me 80,000 yen. Since then I always observe speed limits, which is an extremely dangerous thing to do due to constant tailgating by drivers who try to intimidate (honking horns, flashing lights, shouting, giving me the finger, punching my window at traffic lights - I always lock my doors from inside) and totally ignore speed limits and most other traffic rules.

The police do nothing but occasionally stand outside their kobans leaning on their big sticks trying to look tough, while all manner of insane driving habits go on right in front of their noses.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

yes again..and again ...again.... its a nation of sheep..if one does, another is soon to follow for sure

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@Karihuruka

I've done the driving test both here & the UK, and the driving test and training here are fine; the problem is the Japanese themselves. Drivers have fallen in to very bad habits when driving, and of course, the police do sweet FA about it and it's left unchecked and has now grown (possibly/probably) beyond the police's control; and if the police do nothing, Tarou Public won't do anything either for fear of unsettling "The Wa", never ever considering that castigating bad driving is actually a redress of said Wa.

I'm a motorbike rider, and I remember well the day the examiner (driving tests are under the police's remit here) passed me, but added the caveat that I need to be careful out there; perhaps I wouldn't need to be SO careful if the police actually did there jobs and enforced THEIR laws!

I hate seeing that thing where Patrol cars/vans are in traffic with their lights flashing - that gives every bad driver who can see it a heads up to drive well, but they are still driving terribly the other 99.99999999% of the time.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Let's hope this ends soon. Way to many as of late. I have been touting the benefits of speed bumps for years here in Japan. I've wanted to go out and buy concrete cone off part of the road at night and make my own in front of the local kindergarten. I was seriously considering it. I could see the officials out there trying to remove it a few days later.. so I figured Id be wasting money. Talking to the school officials is a waste of time. Kuyakusho also is useless. New ideas from afar don't go down well. Foreigner and new idea...... thank him and show them the door, as well as a smile, and be done with them. I had an idea of little mini gardens along the river side (narrow strip of land thats always unkept) and on the street where the tree sticks out of a little plot of land. Rent them for a small fee and let people tend them. They can put a sign in it to say whose it is.Personal or company. Have a seasonal contest for the best garden and award them with a small amount of money and and sign to post for recognition of the seasons best garden. Not to mention the time and money saved for the bi annual weed picking and bush trimming days that are too far and few in between.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So sick and tired of the way people drive here. Nothing will ever change. Just a few weeks back, I was crossing the road on my bike when a car was turning in. A mother and her child were crossing and the car stopped fro them. I followed and was just about half way past the car when the driver swerves to one side and just would not let me cross, making me swerve. All the scumbag had to do was wait for another 3 seconds of his life. By the way, the pedestrian lights were green.

Said this last time. The Japanese don't like being compared to 'Asians' like the Chinese and Indians, but with the way they're driving, they're not much better. They don't belong to the 'white' club.

He was quoted by police as saying that he didn’t check properly for pedestrians as he turned right at the corner.

Should I be surprised?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Self-driving-computerized-network-navigated cars with external saftey sensors, when that day comes, these incidents will be a thing of the past. Until then, we all have a chance of becoming the accidental victim or the accidental culprit.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Thunderbird2, as a pedestrian you have priority over cars when you're crossing on a green light. The lights are sequenced that way (with green lights for drivers entering the roads pedestrians may be crossing - something that would cause riots in the UK) to improve traffic and pedestrian flow.

It's best to cross defensively. If someone inches towards you, stand your ground and point at the green light, which gives hokoushayuusen/歩行者優先/pedestrians priority. If your new best friend behaves wrongly, take his number. Don't let some impetuous fool bully you just so they can race to the next red light three seconds quicker.

@Valued Customer, Korean govt. stats show that just over 10% of the 5,500 deaths on their roads were caused by TV viewing. Still think dashboard TVs are harmless?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Osaka?? This is not even funny!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm surprised TVs would be allowed on/in the dashboard. Built-in GPS devices were resisted for the longest time in the States because they required the driver to take his/her eyes off the road. It wasn't until the audio turn-by-turn was added that they were allowed. A TV, however, is designed to be WATCHED, not listened to. Talk about your "fatality waiting to happen"!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@shimonetadaisuki

Self-driving-computerized-network-navigated cars

And when Skynet wants to eliminate a few million pesky humans it just presses the accelerator and drives into a wall or off a cliff. No thanks.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@SenseNotSoCommon

I'll remember your tip when I go back to Japan in November.

I'm doing driving lessons at the moment and the number of times my instructor insists that I check my mirrors, blind spots and all around when turning into another road... you very quickly become aware of everything happening around the car and the road ahead.

To those of you who are resident in Japan do you learn to drive on public roads or in a safe place away from other traffic?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thunderbird, it's at least 15 hours inside the school and 19 hours on the road. I took my license last year, and I can tell you that it's really tough and seriously done. At least compared to Europe and US

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thanks Timeon, it sounds as if the bad drivers just forget what they've been taught and pick up nasty habits... same as anywhere else in the world.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

But, why is there no posted school zones were you must slow down to a crawl?

There are plenty in Osaka. They cut the roads in front of schools on week-days. But they can't make all the city school zone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

With the population shrinking perhaps the extra space could be used as foot paths and town planners could actually build areas that match traffic flow and pedestrian use. Having cars, trucks zooming less than a foot away from people? We read the results too much.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why does this keep happening?!

The frequency is alarming.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The frequency is alarming.

Not really. The frequency of media reporting has increased due to the Kameoka tragedy. The overall number has significantly decreased over the course of 15 years.

Last year, 155 children died due to traffic accidents which has been the lowest. Yet that still is more than once every three days. But if the media (like JT) decides to put it up on their website, there is a "perception" that this trend is "increasing" when the fact indicate otherwise.

http://mainichi.jp/feature/news/20120428ddm041100222000c.html

0 ( +4 / -4 )

You have to be careful with statistics, if the number of annual pedestrian deaths has fallen over the last ten years, was it due to a more wary pedestrian population, a declining pedestrian population, or better driving habits? Rarely will statistics be able to show those factors, but undoubtedly all three will have some affect on the final tallys.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Driver's in Japan seem to not follow the pedestrians first rule. This is also the pedestrians fault for not recognizing their own right of way. Drivers seem to always assume that pedestrians will let them go by. I've been nearl yrun over countless times.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

You have to be careful with statistics, if the number of annual pedestrian deaths has fallen over the last ten years, was it due to a more wary pedestrian population, a declining pedestrian population, or better driving habits? Rarely will statistics be able to show those factors, but undoubtedly all three will have some affect on the final tallys.

No doubt with the declining population that the number of accidents do in fact decrease. But considering the fact that the total fatalities numbered 8747 in 2001 versus 4611 in 2011, I tend to think that safety awareness has contributed a lot to this decrease.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I feel the need to defend @valued_customer.

While I feel dashboard TVs are annoying and likely dangerous, there's no evidence that those devices caused any of THESE accidents we're talking about. Do they cause accidents? Probably, much as any other distraction - and "distracted driving" is typically illegal in most places. Texting, eating a Big Mac, applying makeup - those things all take attention from the road.

Passing another law to make people feel better is a waste of time if it does nothing to alleviate the issue we're discussing today. Find the actual problem and pursue it aggressively.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What's the most dangerous item is a cell phone, smartphones are worse. Studies have shown that the use of these devices are as bad as DUI. We don't know why the driver was not paying attention to what was happening right in front of him but something else had his attention. Also don't kids this age have bright yellow hats or yellow covering on their backpacks? Though they call this an intersection, it looks more like a sidewalk of an alleyway where a driver needs to be even more careful. Finally, Japanese streets are inherently dangerous because they are so narrow and usually lack proper sidewalks.

-1 ( +0 / -2 )

According to an eyewitness, the driver waited for the children to cross, and then turned in, but one of the kids suddenly turned back and got run over...

No surprise to me. What does surprise me is that people are so quick to blame the driver. And even when they get a fact like this, they are real slow to take back what they said.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sigh... since these accidents happen all the time, I always see my kids out the door everday calling out to "be careful". The street in front of our house has no sidewalks, pedestrian crossings have no lights, there are plenty of parking lots that cars may enter, etc....

The elementary school sends reports to local authority every year of these dangers, but they do nothing. I guess we parents have to take action before some tragedy like this happens!

According to an eyewitness, the driver waited for the children to cross, and then turned in, but one of the kids suddenly turned back and got run over...No surprise to me. What does surprise me is that people are so quick to blame the driver. And even when they get a fact like this, they are real slow to take back what they said.

Even if that was the situation, children are expected to make sudden movements, so we drivers need to keep distance or be ready to stop.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He should have waited longer. People are always inching forward in the turn and gun it as soon as there are a few inches clearance. When people do this to me I stop in front of them and say MATE!!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Drivers in Japan have no respect for pedestrians, or cyclists. The car is king. Laws be damned. Might is right. These drivers are probably trying to make up for all the impotence in their lives.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Kenbrady, imagine you're watching your favourite team playing their arch rivals in a cup final, their first in twenty years. Most of your friends support the other team, and you've been getting a lot of banter from them. It's two goals each, and your favourite striker is fast approaching the goalmouth with seconds to go before the ref blows his whistle.

Just as a defender comes in to block, another one comes running in from your right periphery. You want to kick the ball with all of your might past the goalie but that second defender is blocking the way. With her inert corpse.

Dashboards TVs still a good idea?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This ^ Also drivers have been brainwashed into believing they own the roads by car commercials, that depict man in perfect harmony with machine.....bombing down empty cityscapes, or thundering over tundra,dodging the occaisional rolling boulder or tumble weed :(

Yes, siree ....here MSM stands for manoeuvre,signal, mirror !

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So what if the little girl suddenly turned back... the driver should have been STOPPED at a pedestrian crossing until all pedestrians (in this case little children) were safely on the other side. It sounds like this (expletive) driver had the patience of a three year old on a sugar rush. Sorry but I will never blame the little girl for this... drivers need their wits about them and should always be aware of possible hazards.

At the very least he should lose his licence permanently.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have to agree here that Japanese drivers and the cars are not good for safety, my old host family would regularly watch the tv or play with the mobile whilst cruising down the motorway or just driving down the road, the first and only time a car has hit me was here in Japan, knocked me clean off my bike as she pulled out of a car park

1 ( +1 / -0 )

nigelboy:

Not really. The frequency of media reporting has increased due to the Kameoka tragedy. The overall number has significantly decreased over the course of 15 years.

For god's sake, when will you ever stop defending anything Japanese? I've lived here long enough to witness the selfishness and utter lack of care displayed by the typical Japanese driver. Most drivers do NOT want to stop for you. Again, it happened to me today. Why bother having any sort of crossing? Why do some mothers insist on holding their babies while driving? Why do so many parents not bother getting their kids to use seat belts? The list goes on. Most Japanese drivers would not be fit to drive in US or UK.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

For god's sake, when will you ever stop defending anything Japanese? I've lived here long enough to witness the selfishness and utter lack of care displayed by the typical Japanese driver. Most drivers do NOT want to stop for you. Again, it happened to me today. Why bother having any sort of crossing? Why do some mothers insist on holding their babies while driving? Why do so many parents not bother getting their kids to use seat belts? The list goes on. Most Japanese drivers would not be fit to drive in US or UK.

With all due respect Pukey2, I could very well say the same irresponsibility observed in other countries (U.S., U.K. or whatever) but what's the point?

I'm sorry if I disrupted the "Japanese drivers are bad" parade with statistics and all but the point here is that the situation has improved drastically and the numbers are quite low and are comparable to other developed nations who are also making an effort to curb vehicle accidents.

Granted, there are areas in Japan which are extremely dangerous and the local communities need to do more in order to assure the safety of children. However, there are many many communities who take this issue very seriously. Here's an interesting video of "ideas" that the community/school came up with.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WDcdq2nk5Xg

In this clip, you see the schoolchildren crossing the intersection. Afterwards, these children bow towards the vehicles in both directions. If I were in that situation, my initial thought would be to be more courteous and careful. It's a nice reminder without the "road signs".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Getting a drivers license in Japan is so difficult...then these folks reek havoc on the roads as if they have rights over pedestrians.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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