crime

8 injured after car hits 4 cyclists in tunnel; driver arrested

24 Comments

Eight people were injured after a car plowed into four cyclists and was rear-ended by another vehicle inside a tunnel in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, on Sunday.

According to police, the accident occurred at around 11 a.m. inside Sakashita Tunnel along National Route 367 in Otsu City’s Katsuragawasakashita-cho. A car heading in the direction of Kyoto hit four cyclists who were riding in the opposite lane. Another vehicle rear-ended the car that hit the cyclists.

Police arrested the driver of the car that hit the cyclists, Akira Morita, 65, a company employee, on suspicion of negligent driving resulting in injury.

Three men and a woman in their 30s who were riding the bicycles were seriously injured. The 27-year-old woman driving the second car, and a male passenger in his 60s were slightly injured. The woman’s two-month-old baby girl suffered major injuries, police said.

Police said Morita has admitted to the charge and said his car veered over the center line.

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24 Comments
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Overworked elderly drivers strike again!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

> Vince BlackToday 06:08 pm JST

Overworked elderly drivers strike again!

From what we know, he could have been playing Pokemon...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The driver was probably watching TV. That's OK in Japan, using a cell phone isn't.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The driver crossed the center line in a curved tunnel and hit the final four cyclists in a group of nine. All roadies from the look of the damaged bikes.

Wishing everyone a speedy recovery and hoping this man is taken off the roads for a very long time.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"The woman’s two-month-old baby girl suffered major injuries, police said."

No baby seat. I bet you a million dollars.

Kuro: "From what we know, he could have been playing Pokemon..."

And you know this because... ?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The guy admitted it and maybe he just made a mistake. It happens quite often. Wish the injured a very speedy recovery, especially the infant.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Vince Black

Overworked elderly drivers strike again!

65 isn’t elderly, Vince.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This is what I dread every time I cycle into a tunnel. I really do wonder if I’ll emerge from the other end in one piece.

I cannot prove it but it certainly feels like everyone speeds in tunnels.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Vince Black - Overworked elderly drivers strike again

Does this mean you will be handing your license when you are 60? Or before? 65 is not elderly. He may have been overworked. He may also have dozed off. But, he is not elderly.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Bicycles are vehicles.

Ride with traffic, not against it.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Thomas Robert Mountcastle

Bicycles are vehicles.

Ride with traffic, not against it.

They were. Did you not read the article? The driver crossed over the center line into the incoming traffic.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Cycling in Tunnels isn't a pleasant experience, and it's made even worse when you get idiots trying to overtake slow traffic thinking the opposite lane is clear - even though you are there, and wearing Hi-Viz cycling Jackets!

Perhaps a "Permanent Ban" for that Driver, and let him Cycle would be an apt "additional" punishment to the standard.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

65 isn’t elderly, Vince.

65 is not elderly.

Uh, the World Health Organization and most developed nations disagree with you guys on that one...

https://www.who.int/healthinfo/survey/ageingdefnolder/en/

"Most developed world countries have accepted the chronological age of 65 years as a definition of 'elderly' or older person"

Does this mean you will be handing your license when you are 60? Or before?

If I start to become a danger to others, like these 8 injured people, you're damn right I would. But I'm also not a selfish person only concerned with my own welfare.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@smithinjapan

Right. It’s one of the great hypocrisies of Japan that a country which has such a safety first, err on the side of caution attitude to most things seems to have such a laissez faire attitude towards child seat belts and baby seats.

It amazes me that most Japanese parents don’t seem to give this a single thought.

You see children unsecured in cars, jumping up and down in the front seats every day.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

65 isn’t elderly, Vince.

Only old people 65 or older say this. 65 is when extra tests for driving needs to start. Old people cannot handle distracted driving even though they think the can. Or maybe this guy dozed off briefly.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@extanker

Uh, the World Health Organization and most developed nations disagree with you guys on that one...

@zurcronium

Only old people 65 or older say this. 65 is when extra tests for driving needs to start. Old people cannot handle distracted driving even though they think the can. Or maybe this guy dozed off briefly.

You are as old as you function. There are drivers under 65 who shouldn’t be on the road, but their licenses are re-newed with a minimum of fuss. Their vehicular homicides don’t usually make the news.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You see children unsecured in cars, jumping up and down in the front seats every day.

You do? I don’t see that myself.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

You are as old as you function. There are drivers under 65 who shouldn’t be on the road, but their licenses are re-newed with a minimum of fuss. Their vehicular homicides don’t usually make the news.

The point is 65 is the literal definition of old. And once again, of course there are drivers under 65 that get in accidents. But this accident was caused by someone who meets the definition of 'elderly' so that is what needs to be discussed. Saying some 21 year old also got in an accident has nothing to do with the 8 people who just got plowed into by a senior citizen.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Strangerland

Start looking in random cars stopped in traffic, you'll soon see it.

The worst one I saw was a lady who had a baby strapped to her chest while driving. One minor bump that set off her airbag would have had catastrophic consequences.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Start looking in random cars stopped in traffic, you'll soon see it.

I’m a cyclist. I’m regularly stoped beside random cars. Every stoplight.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Alright, start looking through car windows. I'd be very surprised if you didn't see what I'm talking about.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

start looking through car windows.

Why would you ever think I don’t?

I'd be very surprised if you didn't see what I'm talking about.

As I said in my first post, I don’t. 20 years ago I did. Not these days though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fair enough, it must just be me and everyone I've ever mentioned this to then.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

On the subject of driving in tunnels, why is it that so many drivers don't put on their lights in unlighted tunnels? A car without lights is almost invisible in a rear mirror. Is it only in Okinawa?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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