crime

8-year-old-boy dies after being hit by car on crossing

32 Comments

An 8-year-old boy died after he was hit by a car while crossing a street in Tokyo on Tuesday, police said.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 7:55 a.m. at an intersection near Toranomon Hills, Fuji TV reported. At the time, the boy, Kairi Okubo, was walking to school by himself.

Police said a car driven by Akinori Kanai, a 52-year-old part-time worker, turned left and hit the boy. The boy was taken to hospital where he died shortly after arrival.

Police said Kanai was arrested on suspicion of reckless driving resulting in death. He was quoted as saying he didn’t see the boy.

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32 Comments
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It’s still amazing that in Japan drivers can drive over a crossing that has a green walk signal. Poor little boy and his family.

At least twice a week I need to stop on a crossing or driveway and wait for the car to pass in front of me despite having a green walk signal.

20 ( +22 / -2 )

This is why I'd rather j-walk when no cars are around than wait for the green light only to have some jerk try to turn into me

16 ( +16 / -0 )

If you’re a driver, you’re operating a machine that can kill people. This is literally the first lesson at driver’s ed school in Japan. Even if the boy is running to cross the street, he has the right of way. The driver, who is making a turn, does not.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

The system that turning left (or right on right driving countries) when both cars and pedestrians have a green light is quite standard

In the US and I believe Australia you can even turn on red if there are no cars coming.

its about drivers being aware of their surroundings.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Waiting ... waiting for the Westerners who would say this is proof kids can't be left on their own ... must, must be escorted in massive groups.

Why? To prove what point? Most likely case is that it was an impatient Japanese driver who turned the corner at speed without looking properly. It happens far too often. I hate crossing at a zebra crossings in Japan knowing there is always going to be an impatient trying to sneak in. Could have happened to an adult, so your assumption of us Westerners thinking the kids should have been with a minder is wrong.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

 in Belgium.. pedestrian have priority, which mean the car need to stop even if it's green.

In Japan, we also have the same rule like you you said. However, unfortunately, lots of drivers often forget this rule when they're driving. I think all drivers should keep in mind that they're using very dangerous tools.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

You see, this is the issue I have with pedestrians and vehicles sharing the green light. It only takes a moment’s inattention on the part of the pedestrian and driver for such things to happen.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Too young.. damn. rip.

The green for cars and pedestrian is really standard in most countries. I always slow down. In the traffic rule... it should say who have the priority over the other, in Belgium.. pedestrian have priority, which mean the car need to stop even if it's green.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Zebra crossing have to be one of the most ignored street markings in Japan. The pedestrians should have Right of Way! not the other way around.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

In Japan, whoever has the bigger vehicle thinks they have priority.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I don't understand why Japanese ignore red lights and crosswalks. The "I didn't see him" excuse is pathetic.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Yes, pedestrians have priority. For left turning cars the green light allows the driver to “proceed with caution”. However, with human nature, pedestrians speed up when they see the green man start flashing and drivers see green as go... Thats why so many accidents happen at these crossings. Thats why the light system is stupid.

UK has no cars in the junction when its green for pedestrians.... still not perfect, the odd idiot drives straight through on red but much safer and less accidents than Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

didn’t see the boy.

Way to incriminate yourself there Akinori-san.

This is just so sad and honestly puts a knot in my stomach every time I hear or read about a child being abused, hurt or killed.

My condolences to the family and friends of poor Kairi Okubo. May he rest in peace.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There's always two sides to a story. Have you guys ACTUALLY seen how some kids cross the street here? Well, allow me to give you some insight :

https://youtu.be/60qIM8f5T8I

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'd bet the kid was crossing on a green light, and one of those ill mannered left or right turners, wanted to hastily proceed ignoring the green light for the street crosser. I've seen this too many times, as well as cyclist ignoring the red light- thinking they are on a bike and have no obligation to stop at a red signal.

In an OVERCROWDED country with over competitive drivers, traffic law enforcement is going to have to get off their buns and impose stronger penalties. BTW get that guys eyes checked. And check the street cameras to see how the accident really played out.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

Poor little fellow. RIP How awful for everyone involved. Condolences.

Wow! So many assumptions here in absence of the facts. Thank you Bugle Boy for mentioning the blind spot problem. I am a driver who is not tall, but many Japanese drivers male and female are shorter than I am.

The way my seat is configured with no option to raise it and where the mirror is placed on my car causes a blind spot so huge that it can obscure a car! A tiny 8 year-old boy? Not a chance. Not even with a bright helmet.

Because of this I compensate by looking 2 and 3 times in case someone steps in front of the vehicle or whizzes past. Even so, once I barely missed a pedestrian in a wheel chair with right of way in the crosswalk.

This makes me look like a hesitant driver and I have endured impatient honks from those who have no inkling of my reasons for checking repeatedly. Especially if they are in a large vehicle that overlooks mine and can see that the way is clear. I can't.

There should be more stringent rules regarding safety and sight lines in car design. There's too much emphasis on sleek, sexy lines. Sometimes these flaws are not apparent on a test drive of a vehicle (which usually isn't done on pedestrian-crowded streets). I have had other vehicles where this was much less of a problem because the windows were larger, the mirrors more streamlined and placed differently. I also had the option to raise the seat so that I could see the nose of my vehicle.

Of course, I could get a different car. Alas, it's not economically viable, but I will be more particular next time.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

sir_bentley28 - good video. scary stuff. some honest mistakes, but also some dumbass kids, and dumbass parents.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I see people running red lights everyday not slowing down for pedestrian crossings even with people standing on the side waiting to cross...RIP very sad.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yet another car turns left on green while pedestrian is also crossing on green.

For a safety conscious country, the traffic light system is just so STUPID!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Accidents do happen. Not only car accidents but many accidents of many types in many situations. You are driving along the road a mass piece of an aircraft falls on your car and causes you crash and kill people. How could that have been avoided?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My office is just around the corner from Toranomon Hills crossing ..... its very commercial, lots of people around especially at 7.55am. condolences, sad.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Back in the day I almost got severely hit by a j man on a bicycle as I began to cross the street , the clown had plenty of room on my right side but he wanted to shock me with his daring closeness of damn near bruising me. The miserable loon knew exactly what he was doing. If you inform the kobanites , they most likely wont do nothing, but if yio do something they'll be on it like stank on do do.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Always, always, always slow down and look. Even if someone comes flying out of nowhere and hits you squarely in the passenger side door, you will be charged. I was hit by a kid on a moped when I was stopped dead still, straddling a zebra crossing, that he had entered illegally. He should not have been riding there, he wasted my car, he was injured, I was charged. And I was expected to compensate his family...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan is such a Police state, I wonder why they have not got CCTV Cameras upon all crossings ?

That said... Geez. I feel sorry for the Family of this young boy. If you are a Parent, in a similar situation as his Family, either entrusting him to others to get him to School on time, or even if he has to go it alone, then this is a huge daily worry. I know the area, there's no excuse for not seeing the Kid, especially if turning Left!!! More like racing left impatiently through a potentially changing light.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have escaped many times being hit by vehicles on those left / right turns when it is the light turns green for pedestrian crossings. Why is that allowed?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@mmwkdw

The kids here are taught to raise their hands and cross the street. RARELY do I see them look left or right. The kids in the video I showed were of kids who were of the age that were already taught how to cross the street, but we all saw how that turned out. My son at age 4 (now 5yo) knows to look left, right, make eye contact with the driver and wait for the OK from the driver for them to cross the street when crossing at a walkway without a light. The speed limit does not matter to children when they are crossing the road. The kids in the video proved that! Also, the kids in the videos WERE Japanese, so it occurred here. Lastly, thanks for watching the video and learning something.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can only believe that the people hating on the driver without any evidence don’t drive.

If a pedestrian or cyclist comes from an approximately 9:00 angle as a driver turns left, they are in a blind spot, but one that does not feel like it should exist. Driver’s fault for not doing a complete check? Yes. It something needs time done to educate everyone

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

@sir_bentley28

Sorry. but although the examples that you have given , are worthy for showing to your own Kids....

A lot of those examples in your video occurred in places where there ARE speed limits set for good reasons, (or didn't occur in Japan) and certainly do not apply to the situation that arose here - hopefully your action will not prejudice any thoughts towards the situation that arose here!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'd bet the kid was crossing on a green light, and one of those ill mannered left or right turners, wanted to hastily proceed ignoring the green light for the street crosser. I've seen this too many times, as well as cyclist ignoring the red light- thinking they are on a bike and have no obligation to stop at a red signal.

I'd bet you were making assumptions and labeling someone guilty before he gets a chance to defend himself.

-2 ( +16 / -18 )

I read nothing about a green signal, yet many assume their was one.   The driver was quoted as saying he didn’t see the boy and that's possible if the driver didn't look towards his left prior to turning left, could be he continued to look straight ahead out the front windshield as he was turning left. So lets just let the law figure this accident out and not the news reading wanna be lawyers.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

20 years minimum prison.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

The little boy could have been trying to cross the street after the green light had changed to red. We don’t know, and we WON’T know there was some kind of camera recording the event.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

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