Police inspect the site in Hachioji, Tokyo, where a vehicle plowed into a group of children on Monday morning. Photo: KYODO
crime

7 taken to hospital after mini-truck plows into group of children in Tokyo

33 Comments

Six people, including four nursery school children, were injured Monday after a vehicle plowed into the group at a pedestrian crossing in Hachioji, Tokyo, police said.

The children, aged around 1 or 2, suffered minor injuries, while two nursery school teachers in their 30s and 40s were also taken to hospital, but their conditions are not life threatening, the police said.

Police arrested the driver of the mini-truck, who is in his 60s, for alleged negligence resulting in injury. He also went to hospital. He was quoted by police as saying he dropped something and was temporarily distracted when the accident occurred.

The accident occurred around 10:20 a.m. when children from a nearby school were apparently being taken for a walk by the teachers, according to the police.

The vehicle was badly damaged to the front, with its windshield broken and headlights and bumper hanging off. Some children's shoes could be seen next to it in the aftermath of the accident.

"The nursery teachers were holding the crying children as they waited for the ambulance," said a local resident.

He also noted many drivers fail to notice the lights change at the crossing.

The site is about 3.5 kilometers north of JR Hachioji Station.

© KYODO

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

33 Comments
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How old was the driver?

-20 ( +9 / -29 )

The driver in this instance has already been arrested for negligent driving.

Quite a difference to the other article on JT today about the 88 year old retired "elite" bureaucrat being served with a warrant just now after the accident he caused back in April killing the poor mother and child.

The two tier system here , with one set of rules for the "elite" and the other for average Taro on full display.

37 ( +39 / -2 )

Don't tell me - a venerable elder who mistook the accelerator for the brake ?

An article suspiciously lacking in details - another untouchable elitesman?

-16 ( +5 / -21 )

Horrible news, but at least there were no deaths.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Would not be surprised if it's another elderly driver case.

Thankfully no fatalities so far.

Enough is enough.

-18 ( +7 / -25 )

Terrible accident. Just as a related aside,

Are parents aware their kids are being led around bust streets by these facilities? I'm often free during the day, and there's a constant parade of kids being led around the streets...shouldn't they just stay in the daycare building/grounds?

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Still with the ageism? I'd swear there's some here who would be happy if we took the Carousel or something.

Thoughts go out to the injured and their families.

15 ( +22 / -7 )

The article stated he was on his sixties, which should not be old enough to have any major cognitive dysfunction.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

shouldn't they just stay in the daycare building/grounds?

Hmmm I think that would be bad for their development, they should be able to go to different places without having problems. Safety needs to be improved to allow it to happen, don't punish the poor children too

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Are parents aware their kids are being led around bust streets by these facilities? I'm often free during the day, and there's a constant parade of kids being led around the streets...shouldn't they just stay in the daycare building/grounds?

Umm yes? Are you inferring that the nefarious daycare centers are randomly just taking the kids out for walks without any permission? Of course they know...

Quite a difference to the other article on JT today about the 88 year old retired "elite" bureaucrat being served with a warrant just now after the accident he caused back in April killing the poor mother and child.

The two tier system here , with one set of rules for the "elite" and the other for average Taro on full display.

Not defending the system, but lets be real. This happens in any country where someone is a well known public figure.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Not defending the system, but lets be real. This happens in any country where someone is a well known public figure.

Maybe. But we can still hate on it.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

"... also noted many drivers fail to notice the lights change at the crossing."

No... they ignore the lights changing. Come visit Aichi and watch how many people drive through the red light, with no attempt to slow down during the yellow light.

24 ( +25 / -1 )

According to the article there was an immediate arrest, so why is this so different from the April "plowdown" I say plowdown because in the video it is clearly seen that the driver literally was going as fast as possible before running into obstructions in this case "real people" who died but didn't get "immediately arrested" but rather his case finally sent to the prosecutors office 7 month's later. Only after the surviving victims spouse sought petitions and public outcry for equal treatment under the law. The difference this driver is not a bureaucrat.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

No... they ignore the lights changing. Come visit Aichi and watch how many people drive through the red light, with no attempt to slow down during the yellow light.

It happens in the greater Tokyo area also. The fines for this need to be in teased to make it painful and the police need to enforce the law. Stop bothering non-Japanese because of "reports a bicycle was stolen nearby" and take care of this.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

I've always been a bit dubious about the Japanese traffic light system... cars crossing the zebra crossing while people are still walking... crazy.

I'm relieved the kids are okay... one more tragedy averted.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Thank goodness that no one was seriously hurt, as for red light jumpers, this can be addressed, in the UK we have many cameras at road junctions, they will take pictures of the car and registration plate, time and speed. they are also positioned near traffic lights they are activated when the light turns red, may be they should introduce this system in Japan if it has not already got them.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

marcelitio,

Good post.

This dude was rightly arrested straightaway while it took them 7 months to arrest the 'elite' who actually killed 2 people,something the pleb above fortunately didn't manage to do.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

I've always been a bit dubious about the Japanese traffic light system.

It's a petpeeve of mine. Crossing a zebrazone safely should be a norm, they LEARN it at school but NOONE does it. Everyone drives through red lights and noone stops at zebrazones. 90% of the people do this and then when I cross the zebra and a car is coming it either swerves around me like a total nutcase or they come to a screeching halt and give me an angry look. God i hate it.

22 ( +22 / -0 )

Shame on you Japanese police.

Put Kozo Iizuka jail.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

(a local resident) also noted many drivers fail to notice the lights change at the crossing.

At least some will notice, but still treat the first x seconds of red as green. This is common all over Japan. A similar poor attitude from drivers can be seen when there are pedestrians standing at a crossing without traffic lights. 90% of cars will not stop.

Both are the police's fault for zero enforcement.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

@Papigiulio

It's infuriating. I'm currently getting my license and rules about lights and zebra crossings are covered very thoroughly in he theory section. The problem is that the majority of drivers on the road (including the guy in the article) probably got their license more than 30 years ago. I wonder if they are ever required to take refresher courses to remind them/explain things that have changed.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

...again.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

How awful.

There's are a couple schools in my Japanese area, one of which is an elem. sch., and the cars drive way too fast. Luckily, there haven't been any fatal accidents (yet), but the cars whiz by and around these students as though the children are obstacles in the way of wherever it is they're driving to.

Why not install speed bumps? Most of these drivers will be more careful about damaging their own cars than speeding past children, so installing speed bumps makes sense, doesn't it?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I guess it is the height of irony that the truck has a "World Vision" sign on it. World Vision is dedicated to helping children.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

In the photograph we can see what looks like police cameras over the road, but we cannot see any traffic lights. We can see trees. Before we rush to judgement, is it possible the traffic lights are obscured by trees? I have seen many obscured traffic signs in Japan.

As a driver I am well aware that Japanese drivers shoot red lights. I always check my rear view mirror before braking on the yellow. If the lights change to yellow when I am crossing, I am no longer surprised if three cars follow me through, and the yellow does not last that long.

It also seems there are far too many traffic lights, which encourages drivers to go through on the red. Better synchronisation would also help. It is annoying for any driver to wait till the lights go green and as soon as he starts moving see the the next set of lights turn from green to red.

Another problem is the pedestrian lights. Most Japanese seem to have complete faith in the green. They wait patiently on the red pedestrian light even if no traffic is in sight, but as soon as they get the green light, they walk without checking the traffic.

This case involves children. It is surprising because school children always seem to be well supervised by their teachers.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If everyone was to just simply slowdown and pay careful attention perhaps these fatalities would go down. Even if there was no light, one should still be cautious when approaching a crosswalk. There are plenty of visible signs warning drivers that such a crossing is ahead.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

 ....and was temporarily distracted when the accident occurred.

What he's not saying, was he tried to pick up what he dropped and took his eyes off the road.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Toasted Heretic:

It's also ageism that those under 18 cannot drive. Legal though. If we can set a minimum age for driving, why not a maximum age?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I envision future towns and cities with pedestrian-only streets, with electric grid streetcars (similar to how many trains are powered) around a much larger block (5-10 city blocks of today). The pedestrian-only streets could have over or underpasses so as not to expose them to vehicular traffic. Not just in Japan, but everywhere.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Don't tell me - a venerable elder who mistook the accelerator for the brake ?

The article cites that the driver dropped something and bent to pick it up instead of keeping his attention on the road. That's distracted driving. That has nothing to do with age.

Systemic ageism which has been entrenched and widely reinforced in societies world wide and with impunity since the 1880s has not yet been called out the way sexism and racism have. Frankly, that's long overdue especially since the science contradicts what continues to be held as fact regarding how people age.

Read the research, folks. Learn the facts. Remember it when you reach your 60s and are just fine to drive. We elect people that age to preside over countries and influence global affairs, but we aren't going to allow them to drive based on utterly erroneous beliefs and prejudices?

Better driver education, consistent reinforcement of the law, and severe penalties for infractions are required. People run amber and red lights or choose to focus on a distraction because they are not properly educated and receive no punishment for their life-threatening actions. If it works for driving under the influence, it would work for other infractions as well.

Do you know that people will crash a $50,000 car because of an insect inside instead of pulling over to get rid of it? Or because they drop their phone or are putting on makeup or they're making eye contact with passengers in the car? Put that way it makes no logical sense to risk personal safety, the safety of others or serious damage to an expensive vehicle. People do not think.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@philly1

Read the research, folks. Learn the facts. Remember it when you reach your 60s and are just fine to drive.

The facts are that elderly people have a good chance to have degraded reflexes and cognitive abilities. No one is advocating just revoking everyone's license at 65, but there needs to be additional testing to ensure that an old man that can't tell the difference between his gas pedal and brake pedal is taken off the road. I hope that when I reach my 60s, if I become a danger behind the wheel, that someone else stops me from hurting someone else.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@toastedheretic

Still with the ageism? I'd swear there's some here who would be happy if we took the Carousel or something.

It's not ageism to want to make sure dangerous elderly drivers are taken off the road. It may not be the case here, but there's too many cases of 'I got confused and hit the gas instead of the brake' by elderly people. All most of us want is additional testing at a certain age to make sure it doesn't happen. Like I said above, if I hit 60 and my faculties aren't at 100%, I hope someone does the same for me.

I do like the Carousel comment though.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

MaddenNov. 11 02:38 pm JSTHorrible news, but at least there were no deaths.

Still, it's a trauma that could manifest problems for the children.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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