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Tougher penalties for smartphone use while driving take effect

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About time !

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Excellent.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Never seen these being enforced in the first place.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

All well and good but they havnt been enforced up to now so I have my doubts

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Indeed no inforcement otherwise government would not need to borrow any money for fiscal budget.

Never seen of such stupid fine principle where the amount depends of the car size.

No matter how you kill, it is because of negligence.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Looking at the picture it would appear that SatNav is also banned.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Japanese drivers are best so a student told me. I have reason to disagree; considering the above statistics, to which I might suggest may be under represented.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Blah, blah, blah! At least half of the drivers I see every day are texting or talking on the phone. It means nothing without enforcement. It's just another paper law in the land of the paper tiger.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Never seen of such stupid fine principle where the amount depends of the car size.

It's a mistranslation. The "for cases involving large cars" refers to o-gata sha, which are trucks, not large cars.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

The fine is still too cheap... put a 5 digits. They'll think twice before going looking who liked yr cat picture on instagram.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

They missed bicycles...

8 ( +8 / -0 )

What Hello Kitty 321 said. Are we no longer allowed to look at the navigation system? And are "hands free" devices illegal as well? (Technically we are using the smart phone) Same goes for listening to music via smartphone. The law needs to be more clear.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Confusing. But from what I can see, hands-free is OK. So far as navigation on a phone resting in a holder, it's Ok if you don't look at it for more than 2 seconds. (How they will determine this is anyone's guess.) I presume the point is that you shouldn't fiddle with your phone while driving. If you want to reset your navigation, wait until the car is stopped.

Seems that using your phone when stopped at a red light is ok - though not 100% sure on that.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It's a mistranslation. The "for cases involving large cars" refers to o-gata sha, which are trucks, not large cars.

I think the point is why you get a different size fine depending on the type and size of vehicle. Is it really necessary to quantify by 3000 yen the potentially lighter injuries a motorcycle rider could cause by using a phone while they were driving?

Or is there another reason?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's already 5 digits. Put 6 digits! 200k fine!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

At least this gives a clear signal that using a phone while driving is bad behavior.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Australia has just updated its penalties for using a phone while driving. Get caught with your phone in your hand while on the road, including stopped at traffic lights and you receive an instant 3 month license suspension, 3 points off your license and a $1200 fine. However, as in Japan, using your phone while it is in an approved dash mount and there is no problem.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Good to have safer roads if the J cops enforce these laws or not remains to be seen..,

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The bottom picture is illegal?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

2,790 road accidents occurred while someone was using a mobile last year.

On average the police catch and fine over 800,000 drivers a year in Japan for mobile usage while driving.

National Police Agency figures, in Japanese: https://www.npa.go.jp/bureau/traffic/keitai/info.html

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What difference does any of this make? I've NEVER seen cop stop a person for using their smartphone while driving. I mean never.

You might as well make it the death penalty for driving like this, but it don't mean nothing if it's never enforced.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Of course I agree with the core message, but it's too black and white.

I mean, according to recent information, I can't even look at Google Maps while my phone is in a holder, nor listen to Youtube/podcasts.

Can anyone confirm this or shed some more light on the rules?

It's not as worse as the recent Kawasaki-bill to make hate-speech a punishable offence (What even is hate-speech and who decides that), but this law shares the same flaws: Can I use my phone as a radio/navigation? Can I touch it like I do with my normal car-navi? If no, why not? What's the difference? Who decides that?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Hi time it is! This dangerous behaviour is rampant, and this is what the cops should concentrate on instead of stopping bicyclists.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

What difference does any of this make? I've NEVER seen cop stop a person for using their smartphone while driving. I mean never.

Given that apparently there were 800,000 instances of such fines, you obviously didn't see any of them. It doesn't mean that they didn't happen, however.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Should be 10 years prison minimum in case of death.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

You guys are too focused on the core problem (killing people while driving and playing PokemonGo, or whatever). And I totally agree with that.. But think about the other implications, like touching your phone to adjust the navigation, while stopping at a traffic light (like you would touch your car's navigation) - That is now an offence...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Every car has a GPS. Use an ear pod to listen or make cars without taking your hand off the wheel. There's no need to be holding a phone. You can even say siri call my wife!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Most cars have AV units with built in TVs, most peeps I see in traffic are watching TV whilst driving after having the brake switch disabled, very grey area that one...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

How come it's OK to watch TV then? Many cars have TVs and the drivers watch while driving. I'm not kidding! Check it out.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

They are watchin tv while driving? That's coz they hacked the software...

How come it's OK to watch TV then? Many cars have TVs and the drivers watch while driving. I'm not kidding! Check it out.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

You can even say siri call my wife!

I tried that with my Google Pixel, and it didn't work.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Usually police enforce traffic laws for about 2 weeks after a law starts. For the next 2 weeks will see them everywhere. Then they will come back for the first few weeks of April then again in September.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The thing is so far, they are not able to catch you in the act. Currently, the hidden cameras take photos/videos only of persons handling a phone by hands, so only them get punished. They say that next year, some new models of hidden cameras (those embarked on 'plain' police cars) should be able to "catch" what you are watching. Big Brother is coming soon.

without taking your hand off the wheel. 

Not the criteria normally. Phone conversation in itself is a distraction increasing risks.

That's coz they hacked the software...

No, just a standard 4G tablet or large cell phone on a stand. It's allowed to get the device as GPS. Nothing blocks TV/netflix/youtube.

touching your phone to adjust the navigation, while stopping at a traffic light (like you would touch your car's navigation) - That is now an offence...

When your phone is fixed on a carnavi stand, the phone is a carnavi. And well, they don't flash cars at the red light or in the middle of traffic jam. They provide a doc with a photo and a measured speed, because that you cannot deny.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

When your phone is fixed on a carnavi stand, the phone is a carnavi. And well, they don't flash cars at the red light or in the middle of traffic jam. They provide a doc with a photo and a measured speed, because that you cannot deny.

That is a non-answer...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That is a non-answer...

To a non-question.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How about these using those small TV sets while driving ????

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You can even say siri call my wife!

But we don't have your wife's phone number!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

welcome To Great Government increasing Driving Traffic penalties because Respectively to save all souls and decrease Traffic violations.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japanese drivers are best so a student told me.

actually the statistics show they're not , the number of fatalities per billion km traveled Japan doesn't even rank in the top ten of 1st world countries that actually keep statistics, they rank about 16

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_traffic-related_death_rate

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It won't make a lot of difference.Started out similar in Australia most people just paid the fine and kept on using phones while driving, now in the state of NSW this is the penalty now. The fine for illegal mobile phone use is $344, or $457 if detected in a school zone, roughly Y25,500 and Y33,900.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Its the same old routine.

1) An issue arises in Japan causing a public outcry.

2) Laws are eventually drafted to mitigate the problem.

3) The Police then mount an 'awareness' campaign followed by a period of enforcement which garners extensive media coverage. Public behavior temporarily changes.

4) The Police move onto other issues, and the media coverage dies down. The problem re-appears.

5) Laws are then tightened up and the penalties increased.

6) Repeat step 3-6

Think about the use of seat belts in cars, use of child seats, umbrellas and cellphones while on a bike etc etc They have all undergone the same treatment.

The only way you will be able to change behavior is constant enforcement either through increased physical policing, or introducing new technology which does this automatically, as in Australia.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

wtfjapanToday  12:26 am JST

Japanese drivers are best so a student told me.

actually the statistics show they're not , the number of fatalities per billion km traveled Japan doesn't even rank in the top ten of 1st world countries that actually keep statistics, they rank about 16

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_traffic-related_death_rate

Unfortunately it's a hell of a lot worse than that when taking into account local factors.

1) Deaths in JP that occur more than 24 hours AFTER the incident are attributed to different causes, and are not included in the figures. If these were included, then the actual toll would likely be 30% higher.

2) Japan has a higher proportion of low speed incidents due to the congested nature of the cities and suburban environments. Thus, accidents are more likely to result in (serious) injury rather than death. Think of the mix of mama-chari and cars on tight cinderblock linked intersections in all towns and cities.

A more interesting stat to have a look at would be injuries per billion of KM traveled.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I asked Siri to call my wife and Siri said, "No thanks, you do it!"

I have always been concerned seeing cops standing on corners looking for who knows what and watch carsgo straight through the stop signs right in front of them. Much more dangerous than looking at the navi system.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japanese drivers are best so a student told me.

By Asian standards, they are pretty good. But overall, they are about as bad as US drivers, though with different faults. Compared to most EU countries, driving in Japan is chaotic, and a lot of drivers have little understanding of the most basic traffic rules.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I cycle everywhere .... to/from work .... gym, super market ect .... I have a go-pro on just in case, is ALWAYS see drivers that text/drive. Is there some system where I could submit video to police of drivers using phones will on road?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Today contacted the local Police, they have explained that the law has not changed, they also explained that only the penalties have changed.

The police can only stop you if you are doing some thing obviously wrong.

As for using the car navigation, it depends on the situation, so if you are using the navigation system while driving and it results in bad driving they can stop you.

If you are involved in an accident, again it depends on the situation.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Here is the loop hole though. What about those people who watch tv in their cars? Isn't that the same type of distraction as using a phone? So if I were using my phone as a navigation system and I'm not touching the phone, would I get in trouble?

There's ALOT of grey areas in this new law.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

[QUOTE]So if I were using my phone as a navigation system and I'm not touching the phone, would I get in trouble?[/QUOTE]

Based on the answer I received, if you are not touching it, nothing, unless it affects your driving or you are involved in an accident.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ zichi.

'Every car has a GPS.'

No they don't.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

More window dressing, unless it's enforced.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

definitely too light... all cases, should be a minimum of 100000 for just looking at electronic device while driving. GPS in car will tell you where to turn.

if you endanger anyone while using, you should be in prison regardless of outcome for few years and no more driving allowed.

and i sincerely hope they start enforcing those... in fact they should promote private reporting, its very easy for me to snap a photo of a driver on their phone while cycle commuting , i could probably send like 10 of those daily )

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

On my bicycle, a runner in front of me, on the change of light to green, he ran forward. I was slowly moving on my bicycle, when a truck runs the red light and through the intersection at a good 60 KM. I had my hands on the brakes to stop, but still only missed the truck by inches, which barely missed the runner in front of me on the other side of the truck. Briefly saw the driver, a young guy texted madly...completely unaware he had run a red light and almost killed someone. Definitely laws have to be stricter. It might help just to make texting and walking illegal...way too many people walking blindly in stations and on the road, I'm sure that behavior leads to people texting while driving...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If caught say good bye to your expensive driving license

0 ( +0 / -0 )

is this only phones? What about GPS like the photo suggests?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Update.

Yesterday after reading this article, I went to the police headquarters in my prefecture. I asked What's ok and what's not. The Police spokesperson said "As long as the key is in the ignition and the engine is on, you cannot touch, use or look at your phone."

I asked "What about watching the built in tv in the car while driving?" I was shocked to hear that its ok to watch tv in your car.

I asked "What if you're using your phone as a navigation system?"

They said "Buy a holder for your phone or you will be ticketed and fined!"

I feel like this level of interest should be paid to tailgaters or road-ragers too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Luc BogaertDec. 1 06:58 pm JSTAt least this gives a clear signal that using a phone while driving is bad behavior.

It's just a bunch of BLAH BLAH BLAH. Ain't no cops going to enforce this paper law after 2 weeks. Maybe after a fatal crash it might be applied but otherwise it won't mean diddley and it won't be enforced.

It's just like the concealed-carry law for drivers in the USA. Supposedly such holders have to have the gun  in a locked compartment in the car. Yeah, right!

A bunch of lip-service at best.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For all of you thinking they will not going to enforce it, I think that might not be a good idea. Saw a traffic stop set up this afternoon where they were handing out tickets, not sure if that was the reason or not, but since people love to use their phones, they might have been busting them.

While I think this is a good idea, I checked the rules and it just says, "use." Does that mean if I am talking on it, hands free? Listening to music. Even though I like them getting tough, they should go after bicyclists.

On another note, since driver's cannot be seen using their phones, they will take them off the dashboard and out of A/C place, I'm sure quite a few are going to set them into the cupholders down below, in between the seats, which means their eyes will be further off the road than they were before. That should create more accidents, no?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here is the only thing I could find. It has so much gray to it. It just says, "use."

http://www.shutoko.jp/ss/shutokodeikou/special/driving_tokyo/pdf/howto_en3.pdf

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So if I need to use Google maps and my phone in the phone holder eye level next to my rear view mirror, I’ll get busted? So how can I use it or find my way? Pull over and memorize the route before driving? Seems like more people are going to place their phones on their laps or next to them on the passenger seat and drive with their heads down and thus creating a much bigger problem with accidents actually going up instead of down. The iPhone will always find a way. Another knee jerk reactionary law.....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The rule is, and I cannot find it in English anywhere, so this is a "I was told by my wife" that you cannot look at it for more than two seconds. Will they time you looking at it? WTF?

And I agree. That is what I was saying, people ARE going to look at the phones, just place it in a place the cops can't see. Which means "eyes completely off the road and that translates to... MORE ACCIDENTS! SMH!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And as for the navi. Uhm, that is also a huge problem. You have to see the navi to find your way. Cannot stop every one hundred meters. Do the people who made this rule NOT drive in Japan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And I agree. That is what I was saying, people ARE going to look at the phones, just place it in a place the cops can't see. Which means "eyes completely off the road and that translates to... MORE ACCIDENTS! SMH!

Sad, but these over the top rash decisions happen every where. After the death of Nicole Brown Simpson and the infamous OJ trial, Domestic Violence laws were so over the top zero tolerance back then. If (usually) a woman calls, you just got arrested, that’s it, once the call was made and the cops showed up, you are leaving in cuffs, if you were a first time offender with priors, it was one year mandatory and you also had to go to counseling for a year mandatory and you had to pay $500-1,000 to the women’s victims DV prevention charity or something like that. It was really bad at the time as the phone calls were ringing off the hook, but now it’s all calm and a lot of that over reactionary protocols change. I hope this one does as well, but as of right now I feel a lot of people will be paying a lot of money. Think about it, the country needs money, every bit helps.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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