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86-year-old woman riding bicycle dies after being hit by drunk driver


An 86-year-old woman riding a bicycle died after she was hit by a car in Hashima, Gifu Prefecture.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 5: 42 a.m. Sunday.

Police said the driver of the car, Yuichi Hori, was drunk at the time when he hit Mineko Katano who was riding her bike near her home. Katano was taken to hospital where she died a short time after arrival.

Hori, who is a truck driver, has been charged with dangerous driving resulting in death.

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@Ex - I am curious also. When was that? I remember a time when being intoxicated was consider to be a valid excuse for a vehicle accident in Japan (although I am not sure how it would be applied in the event someone is killed).

Regardless this is so tragic! 86 and still riding her bike...she probably had a few more good years in her!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

She managed to survive the war, only to be killed by a drunk driver. He has to be put away forever.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

The UK often is a pioneer in bringing in new laws, I believe this needs to be followed in kind in Japan:

Dangerous drivers who cause death while using their mobile phones or speeding will face life in prison, ministers have confirmed. The decision to go ahead with a major extension of sentences comes after a campaign by families and a cross-party group of MPs.

Drivers who kill while under the influence of drink or drugs will also face a life sentence. And there will be a new offence of causing serious injury through careless driving, as part of renewed efforts to improve road safety.

The new measures mean such drivers could face the same length of sentence as those convicted of manslaughter, with maximum penalties raised from 14 years to life.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Even though Japan has some of the heftiest penalties in the world, drink driving is still rampant. This is due to a lack of vigilance and the predictability of the police force. Every drunk driver knows the chances of being caught are extremely minimal, unless hey have an accident, of course. The police set up their RBTs in predictable places and at predictable times. When I lived in Brisbane, the police would block all bridges both ways on Friday and Saturday nights and test just about every car. People soon learned that drink driving was not worth it.

However, the chances of being caught and penalised for just about any driving offence in Japan are very small and not just drink driving. Speeding, running red lights, stop signs and pedestrian crossings are SOP because they know they will not get caught. The same goes for using phones while driving. I drive every day and at least 50% (or more) of drivers are using their phones, which is a ¥50,000 fine, but nobody cares because they know they won't get caught until they kill somebody. Then, there are the other distracted drivers, watching TV, putting on make up, shaving, reading a newspaper, writing reports, discipling unrestrained kids jumping around in the car, all of which are illegal and carry hefty penalties, but again, nobody cares because they know they won't get caught. On a per capita basis, Japan's annual road deaths' statistic is quite low. However, less than half of the adults in Japan drive, which changes the statistic drastically to a very high death rate per annum. As I've said before, "Gambling is illegal in Japan until you get on the roads. Then, you gamble with your life!"

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I remember a time when being intoxicated was consider to be a valid excuse for a vehicle accident in Japan

I've been here some 40 years and I don't remember such a time at all. I do remember when I first arrived, been pleasantly surprised at how careful people were to stick to the drink-driving laws - one small drink and you call the daiko people to take you and your car home.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@Cleo - I actually saw this occur with a Japanese friend of mine. He damaged a building, the owner did not want to press charges, and that was the end of it. My friend (the driver) paid for the damages and it appeared the fact he was intoxicated was seen as a viable excuse for the incident. All was well as long as he was willing to compensate the building owner, which he did. I heard that was not unusual (although I do not know if it was the norm)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Car hits cyclist. Cyclist dies. What caused the accident ?

The driver of the car. Is this a trick question?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The drinking and driving problem has always been there. It's just more in focus now with the no tolerance law and because of some heinous accidents in the recent past.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sprightly old duck if she was cycling at 530 am.  sad way to end.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Anyway that drinks a drop of alcohol and drives is utter scum. Bang him up and throw away the key.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Excellent comment Disillusioned.

50% of motor vehicle involved fatalities in Japan are either pedestrians or people on bicycles.

This is an incredibly high percentage compared to most other countries. Thankfully, Like you said, people here drive less.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan's annual road deaths' statistic is quite low. However, less than half of the adults in Japan drive, which changes the statistic drastically to a very high death rate per annum.

how does that change the stat at all? there are still a large number of cars and trucks on the road in japan so your theory is pure nonsense. at least give some data to support your wild theories. here is a link to wiki, and if you play around with # of inhabitants and # of vehicles, then japan still ranks within the top 20 safest driving countries.


0 ( +1 / -1 )

What caused the accident ?

The driver drinking alcohol before getting behind the wheel of a car.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Drunk driver hit woman and killed old woman. Alcohol Bad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

about ten years ago it was sort of OK to drink and drive, especially in the countryside...as long as their was no injury or bad accident. then a city hall worker mowed down and killed 3 children a few years ago and the laws became the most servere in the world.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Car hits cyclist. Cyclist dies.

What caused the accident ?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I have said this before on JT, I remember a time when this sort of thing would have been unheard of in Japan.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

in japan, one drink means drunk, even if not drunk. we need more info. but if he was really drunk then there is only one outcome.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

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