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81-year-old woman arrested after driving car through convenience store entrance

39 Comments

An 81-year-old woman was arrested Sunday after she drove her car through the entrance of a 7-Eleven convenience store in Toride, Ibaraki Prefecture.

The woman has been charged with reckless driving resulting in injury, Sankei Shimbun reported. A 57-year-old part-time employee in the store was injured. Three customers were in the store at the time but none of them were hurt.

The incident occurred at around 9:25 a.m. Police said the woman was about to leave the car park when she hit a parked car and then careened through the store entrance. She was quoted by police as saying she mistakenly pressed the accelerator instead of the brake

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39 Comments
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And the beat goes on...

8 ( +9 / -1 )

This story reminds me of a story my dad used to tell me. He was teaching my grandpa how to drive (my mom's father). My grandpa lived rough and learned to drive later (maybe in his mid 40's). I guess grandpa mistook the accelerator for the brake and drove through the frozen foods section of the local market. No one was hurt but was quite a scene. Things were different back then...store owner asked if my dad had insurance, he said yep, everyone got a good laugh and free ice cream for the rest of the day. No one was arrested. From what my dad said even the cops that showed up to write the report had some of that ice cream. Been nearly a year since my dad passed. I miss him.

I hope the guy in this incident was not hurt too bad.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Another elderly driver causing accidents.

Enough with political correctness, at a certain age, drivers need to be given incredibly strict testing including physicals, before being given licenses, with bi-annual checkups. After a certain age driving should be banned.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

I'm all for periodic retesting of elderly drivers but in the end you could be perfectly healthy and still make a mistake like this

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Easy solution: no one over the age of 70 should be allowed behind the wheel.

-19 ( +4 / -23 )

If you cannot tell the difference between the accelerator and the brake why are you driving?

6 ( +10 / -4 )

@Michael Jackson: They already do this, I believe every 6 months. But all it takes is a forgetful Betty to kill someone :(

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I knew 2 persons who did the same mistake : one was 23, the other 18.

So it's not necessarily the age that is a problem.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

Vince Black

Easy solution: no one over the age of 70 should be allowed behind the wheel.

Easy for those of us who have never met anyone over the age of 70.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Enough with political correctness, at a certain age, drivers need to be given incredibly strict testing

What happened here is not exclusive to elderly drivers

How strict would it need to be, to make it incredible?
4 ( +6 / -2 )

if you cannot tell the difference between the accelerator and the brake why are you driving?

I am willing to bet that most of these accidents are down to folk double footing it. (one foot on the juice and one on the brake) Lazy driving and a terrible habit some folk have. Especially the old as they think it will give them quicker reactions.

It won't...don't do it!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Easy solution: no one over the age of 70 should be allowed behind the wheel.

Again with this. NO! I know people over 70 who can drive better than some 30 years olds. The periodic testing needs to be stricter and maybe the occurrence of these tests should increase. Also perhaps they can include these tests for truck drivers as well.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

They can find alternative transport to shops, clinics etc etc I'm sure they'll understand if it's explained to them, in the interests of saving lives

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

You can blame the elderly, you can assume she is a 'double foot' driver. However, the reality is, she is just another careless driver. This kind of thing is not limited to the elderly or to Japan. Driving a car is a responsibility and a privilege. Driving is not a right! If drivers cannot take the responsibility their privilege should be removed.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Vince, youre not listening.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Vince Black - They can find alternative transport to shops, clinics etc etc I'm sure they'll understand if it's explained to them, in the interests of saving lives

You've never been to Toride, have you? It is semi-rural and if you don't have a car you don't get out of the house. There are buses, but they have very limited routes and during the off-peak hours they are very few and far between. If you don't live on a bus route, you are screwed. Furthermore, the Japanese government does not subsidise taxis for the elderly making them too expensive for the average pensioner. Unfortunately, for many elderly in rural Japan, if they do not have a car, they become prisoners in their own homes.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Disillusioned is right. The inadequate public transportation is a major factor in why many continue to drive. I’m familiar with many such places myself and I recently saw in TV a place that had one bus per week on Tuesdays. Then there is the problem of even if, for instance, you can get to where you need to go shopping on a bus or train, can you manage to carry home heavy shopping? Or afford to go frequently enough to make lighter loads?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Enough with the arrests already! Clearly an unintentional accident!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

i hope she only gets probation and her license revoked. She doesnt deserve to spend some of her remaining in life in jail.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I still get baffled over how anyone can mistake the brake for the accelerator. The are different sizes, different positions, and different heights.

Also, even if you do mistake the brakes for the accelerator, how much pressure do you normally apply to brakes? You should be easing pressure on either pedal, but of the car to speed out of control into a convenience store, you would really have to be gunning.

And my last point, one of the main reasons for the existence of the automatic transmission is so that less skilled people can drive a car. So essentially, car engineers have dumb down cars so that anyone can drive them, Yet we still have people mistaking brakes for accelerators, to the point that we have to dumb-proof cars even more by putting sensors and cameras on them so that they don't run into walls. The more we stupid proof these cars, the more people become dependent of technology to prevent them from making mistakes.

Its really a vicious circle which should be stopped my retraining people to drive with existing technology rather than changing technology to cope with careless people.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@haloerika - i hope she only gets probation and her license revoked. 

Why should she have her licence revoked? She made a mistake, which is not limited to elderly drivers. This kind of accident happens quite often in Japan, but only a few are elderly drivers. Yeah, maybe she should be made to attend some retraining courses as punishment for her carelessness and undergo cognitive testing, but there is no reason to revoke her licence.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The more we stupid proof these cars

I feel the same way about the news.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I also think it is not the age but the skill and knowledge of rules are lacking for many drivers in Japan.

I constantly see middle age people struggling to make simple maneuver or parking. In the same time drivers stop on crossing when my way is with the stop sign and I'm giving them way. On contrary not slowing down when turning in small streets, trying to rush signals when changing from yellow to red, etc., etc.

Additionally to health checks there should be mini skill tests with some basic things that if failed license should be suspended.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

She was quoted by police as saying she mistakenly pressed the accelerator instead of the brake

Another aged on aged crime. Really when will this horror be put to stop? If the aged are not robbing stores they are running over people and/or crashing 7-11s. Police should have random stops for the aged like they do looking for drunk drivers. No driving over the age of

Get anyone over this age into self-driving cars as soon as possible. 7-11 company and its employees will thank you.
-4 ( +0 / -4 )

My buddy in junior high did the same thing at school on a tractor for agriculture class. We all got a shot to drive it and he took off almost doing a wheely then crashed into an air conditioning wall. We all nearly pyssed our pants laughing and noone was hurt.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

When I compare my partners parking skills to those over 70, I feel total embarrassment. Two days ago, my partner took 13 times to park at the supermarket.

as combini have high turnover of customers, all should be required by law to have those yellow bar thingies.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@Goodlucktoyou - as combini have high turnover of customers, all should be required by law to have those yellow bar thingies.

The most sensible and poignant comment in this thread so far.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Can't protect the world from stupid.  Seems like a good idea to have some kind of crashproofing in front of stores adjacent to parking lots.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Now... if this is not a continual problem, how did I KNOW that I would click on this and read that she mistook the accelerator for the break?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Seven-Eleven open air drive-thru newly excavated. Need cold hard steel bars for protection.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There doesn't seem to be another solution. So many stubborn old folks don't want to hand in there licenses due to pride a false sense of being able to drive safely.

An example needs to be made. This woman should be sentenced to a few years in the slammer.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@stev fen

This woman should be sentenced to a few years in the slammer. The fear of prison might get these geriatric killers off our roads

There is no doubt that some people should not be on the roads. Which is why there should be regular competency checks to ensure that these incidents do not occur.

That said, this is no place for ageism. Our parents and elders should be respected, not villified.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

At least she didn't say that she thought it was a drive-thru store.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@stev fen - This woman should be sentenced to a few years in the slammer. The fear of prison might get these geriatric killers off our roads

These geriatric killers you speak of account for 7% of road fatalities in japan. Whereas, the under 30 year olds account for over 50% of road fatalities in Japan. I think you are pointing the finger at the wrong end of the age scale, don't you?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Young drivers make mistakes because they are bad drivers. Unfortunately, elderly drivers that make mistakes usually do it because they are confused. One of those you can fix.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Get building those robots to drive 50% of the population around after you take their licenses away.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Lately it seems like the elderly causing car accidents in Japan just keeps on happening nonstop and no one does anything about it...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is a terrible accident. If I were in this place, I would be very frightened. I was relieved to know that no one died in this incident. I often hear of similar incidents on the TV news. Elderly people mistake the brake and the accelerator more often  compared to young people. It is because the function of the brain gradually declines. Therefore, there may be times when it takes time to distinguish between right and left. I think it is necessary to take measures to reduce such incidents. For example, how about not driving a car when people retire from work at the age of 60? I think that such cases would decrease dramatically.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I often see story like this in the news. This not only happens to elderly people but also to young people. The reason cause of accidents is operational mistakes. There are age restrictions to on getting a driver's license. In Japan, people can get a license when they are eighteen. I think the driving ability of Japanese is very skillful. However, we should stop elderly people. As we grow older, our memory becomes weaker. They have to drive slowly and carefully than usual. Careful driving prevents accidents. I know that driving is necessary for our lives, but we have to reduce driving accidents.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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