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Woman killed, others injured after 90-year-old driver hits pedestrians near Tokyo

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This is kinda sad though, few more years left on your life and you will remember that you killed somebody because of recklessness.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I would hope that she is charged with manslaughter at the most. Her health may well have deteriorated since December - that happens with alzheimers. It can accelerate rapidly.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Vince Black

She deserves the death penalty. She's a murderer with no respect for life, as is obvious through her actions. She shouldn't matter. Hang her

Except deaths from car accidents are not murder but vehicular manslaughter which normally would mean a minimum of five years imprisonment but in this case the offender is 90-year-old so will she go to prison?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Not sure why some here are stating that she got confused with gas and brakes. She herself stated,

Saito allegedly told the police that she "knew it was a red light" at the intersection, but she "attempted to go through."

I can't just brush it off as a simple tragic accident like some have said. Some accountability for elderly drivers who shouldn't be behind the wheel is needed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Saito allegedly told the police that she "knew it was a red light" at the intersection, but she "attempted to go through."

It doesn't appears that age, mistaking gas pedal for brake, etc., was the cause of this accident. "Impatience" seems to have been the cause. This "impatience" or "I can make it" mindset can infect drivers of all ages, and it's not unique to Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I’m not surprised when an older or a younger driver has an accident in Japan.

Running red lights, cyclists on the wrong side of the road, and the worst - people don’t stop at pedestrian crossings. It’s pathetic!

but now I’m worried

how could this comment -

”I have NEVER ONCE mistaken the gas and brake pedals. Only a drunk or very old person would do that”

get more dislikes than likes?

ive driven for over 35 years. And a lot.

How could you mistake brake and gas pedals.

these people who think it’s easy to make that mistake should have to have signs on their cars so we know to be careful near them.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

mmwkdwToday  12:06 am JST

Most of these old drivers cant see what the problem is...

Does not explain all the other accidents that happen to people of all ages. Age is a factor but not the only one. It will be nice if one day cars can actually be smart enough to manage peoples driving. I know its close but the cost is still going to make it at least another decade or more.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

mmwkdwMay 28  10:42 pm JST

I want to be able to take up Rally Driving when I'm in my 90's, nothing like a dose of adrenaline to keep you young and the sex drive afterwards... who needs Viagra.

At least there you would not hurt anyone except maybe yourself. Not a bad idea.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Most of these old drivers cant see what the problem is...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Why are commenters saying she probably mistook the gas for the brake? The article says she knew it was a red light and tried to drive through anyway.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I want to be able to take up Rally Driving when I'm in my 90's, nothing like a dose of adrenaline to keep you young and the sex drive afterwards... who needs Viagra.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

"running a red light": this is so common, just like merging first, then using a blinker well after the turn is initiated, then looking. These two actions are so common, I see them both every single day of my commute to work that I swear they have to taught in driving school.

The must say "see that yellow light? it does not mean anything. And when the light turns red, don't worry you have 10 more seconds until you should probably think about stopping. And always remember, merge, then wait 3 seconds, then put your winker on, not indicator, it would be silly to call it something like that, because we are not indicating anything, we are winking at god that we didn't just get in a wreck, then wait 3 more seconds and look in your mirrors to see who you just almost hit. Okay you pass your lesson today"

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Why is a 90 year old driving?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Shooting lights about to turn red is a national driving habit here.

Correction; shooting lights that turned red seconds earlier is a national driving habit here.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think that there should be compulsory testing, IE eyes, reaction times and physical health checks every two years, and it should be cheap or free. BUT if they fail these simple tests the keys should be taken away and given free bus rides, I know that in some rural places this might be a bit hard to implement, may be subsidised taxis is an answer.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Papagiulio: "It's easy to say that all elderly drivers should hand in their drivers licenses but for some it is not an easy choice because some are dependent on their cars (e.g. live in inaka)"

True, but I'm pretty sure if you asked this 90 year old woman if she could go back in time and have given up her license so this woman would be alive, she would give up the convenience in favor of a life. These people never expect to have an accident (not one does), and it is always in retrospect that the convenience may not have been worth it after all, given the outcome. So, now, what can be done? A 90 year old women won't do jail time, nor will she be punished, but at the same time a person is dead. Something has to be done about it, and debate on taking away the licenses of those above a certain age is inevitable. People who are younger can still face punishment and do time. The elderly can't.

Anyway, tests need to be made stricter. The whole "You failed your senility test, but umm... we can only SUGGEST you give up your license" needs to change to that if they don't pass, they can't renew. Also, quick reflex response needs to be added to tests for all ages, and those who fail also should be unable to renew or get a new license. That's a start. In the meantime, while that's debated as society ages, as I said, something must be done.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It's a tough call with old folks and their cars sometimes. We had to take my granny's keys when she was about 90; she was not happy about it. A great uncle lived alone and did his own grocery shopping (drove himself), mowed his own lawn et cetera just shy of 100, and was probably more competent behind the wheel than the average college student. We left him to it.

You want to respect the old folks, but tell that to the victims' families...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The same age old problem with the modern automobile, the brake pedal and the gas throttle pedal are side by side on the floor. There have been many accidents over the years because of this, and . . . there will be many more.

My first car was a Model T. Ford. The spark pedal was on the left and the gas throttle on the right of the steering post, right under the steering wheel, not on he floor. The brake pedal was on the floor on the far right where the gas pedal is today in modern cars.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I have NEVER ONCE mistaken the gas and brake pedals. Only a drunk or very old person would do that

Are you an elderly person?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Manslaughter.

90years old and behind the wheel of a heavy piece of machinery? She selfishly mowed down a crowd of people just going about their day. She needs to be punished, regardless of age.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Five year tests from the age of 60. Health and driving tests every five years after 70 years. Health and driving tests every three years after 80 years. No driving allowed after 85 years unless the driver can prove both their skills and their needs. Low cost testing.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Hey not to be a drag, but this problem can only get worse here in the years to come.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

She deliberately run the red light as she thought she could get through the crossing before the pedestrians set foot on it. Nothing to do with her age, just errant stupidity and arrogance.

This isn't unusual though, I see cars running red lights quite often, if you slow down at a yellow the drivers behind get very pissed off with you, using the horn or tailgating.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I used to work in law enforcement in “Vice City.” The oldest driver I had cited for an accident was 98. He had just renewed his license for another 4 years (8 years is usual for younger drivers).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

According to her friend who has known her for many years she is quite a normal person and drives neither wildly nor too slowly. Sadly for her though, having just reached 90, the police are now said to be in the process of issuing an arrest warrant.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

'Some elderly driver hit someone' kind of news keeps popping up, but nothing is done about it. Yes, these guys should be obliged to retake the driving tests on basis, because otherwise they are risking taking someone's lives (plus, their families will face the burden of paying the compensation to the family of the injured-if not dead- person).

In my experience, the most outrageous drivers are the ojiisans in the old Toyota taxis-I've been close to be hit by them on a pedestrian crossing not once. I also felt scared taking a ride in their cars-recently one of them took a wrong turn while taking me home (coz he rejected using the navigation) and to get back to the right road he was backing the car up the hill on the one-lane road. decided to never get in those old cabs again.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I have NEVER ONCE mistaken the gas and brake pedals. Only a drunk or very old person would do that

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Shooting lights about to turn red is a national driving habit here.

It's become a national disease, and it has progressed to running red lights as a matter of course. I witness it multiple times daily. Not enforcing traffic rules is sowing the seeds of serious trouble. When I stop for a yellow light drivers behind me get mad.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Licenses should be subject to annual renewal beginning at age 70 for anyone showing signs of dementia, and tests of vision, reaction time, sign recognition and driving ability included. Single vehicle accidents causing an injury to a third party should earn a permanent suspension at the same age. Licenses should be surrendered at age 80, or driving restricted to 660 cc vehicles on roads through rice paddies.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Accidents happen regardless of age.   Shooting lights about to turn red is a national driving habit here.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

and many still state that autonomous vehicles arnt needed in society!?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I'm thinking someone left the car unattended (or maybe with Grandma in it) and she took it for a ride, not realizing she can no longer drive, hasn't been allowed to drive for years. I guess we'll learn the truth in a day or two.

Tragic regardless of how it happened.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

She is 90, and just took the elderly driver's refresher awareness course, apparently.

On the news this afternoon she is reported as saying she knew the traffic lights were turning red but she thought she would risk it. Running a red is the immediate cause.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Like what Michael said, its easy to mistake the gas for the brake especially when you panic.

What on earth are you talking about?

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

I hope the driver is okay. Like what Michael said, its easy to mistake the gas for the brake especially when you panic. RIP to the woman caught in the accident. This is why I always walk facing the traffic

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Tragic for the victims.

It's easy to say that all elderly drivers should hand in their drivers licenses but for some it is not an easy choice because some are dependent on their cars (e.g. live in inaka). Plus as I said before, if people over e.g. 70 years old need to hand in the drivers license, there will be a lot of taxi drivers out of a job.

Guess all we can do really is be more strict with their medical checkups or fast forward autonomous driving in Japan and help these elderly out.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

In her 90’s? She should’ve been driving a wheelchair.

2 ( +14 / -12 )

Gas instead of brake syndrome I'll bet. I did that myself once as a teenager learning to drive. Couldn't understand why the car was going faster the harder I pushed on the "brake".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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