Police in Yamaga, Kumamoto Prefecture, on Tuesday arrested a 51-year-old man on suspicion of reckless driving resulting in injury after he hit a group of elementary school children on a crossing, injuring three of them.
According to police, the incident occurred at around 7:10 a.m. at a crossing with lights on National Route 325. Police said the driver, Takao Koga, told them the sun was shining brightly through the windshield and he didn’t notice the light was red, Sankei Shimbun reported.
His car hit three children ― a boy, 12, a girl, 7, and another boy aged 6. They were part of a group of six children on their way to school with two adults.
Police said the three children were taken to hospital with leg and knee injuries.© Japan Today
Login to comment
Japanese drivers do not stop at pedestrian crossings.Everyday on my way to and from work,to the shops etc I have to tiptoe and sometimes rush back from the pedestrian crossing because drivers do not care or pretend not to see that there is a pedestrian crossing.I wonder what is the purpose of having pedestrian crossings in Japan.Seems pointless.
@Ken: Pedestrian crossing and traffic control devices seem to be suggestions here. The obvious remedy is to increase the fines for ignoring them and require the police to enforce the laws.
Do the hustle
The sun was in his eyes and he didn’t see the red light is plausible. However, not seeing a group of kids and adults on the crossing right in front of him is BS. He was not paying attention at all. He probably had a newspaper strewn across the steering wheel.
Do the hustle
Great advice! However, they actually teach and encourage kids to run across the road in Japan.
Kobe White Bar Owner
police could start inforcing the law, or even cameras with nice big fine for ignore crossing or red lights and it would fix the economy very quickly.
This make sense because I am sure most drivers can relate to this, but I don't think the sun was bright enough for you to not know you have to slow down at a crosswalk at 7:10am.
I don't understand how is the stupid and dumb idea of "raising your hand while crossing the street with your head down" a safer way than looking both ways and making eye contact with the driver before you cross the road. That really irks me. I have my mother and Sesame Street to thank for teaching me the PROPER way to cross the road.
Bugle Boy of Company B
To be fair, sometimes people liter around crossings. You stop but they just stand there. Frustrating. I would prefer if they made them all push button crossings.
Yeah this guy thinks the issue is that he ran the light. You didn't see the kids so you didn't stop. Bye-bye licence.
If you're gonna pull excuses out of your ass, at least make them good.
The sun can be blinding, but in that situation you must drive slower, just as you would with snow or fog. It is not an excuse for missing a red light.
Sun angle is easy to calculate and there are websites and apps that do it for you. It would only take the police a few minutes to find out if he's lying.
"The sun was shining so I couldn't determine whether the light was red or whether anyone was crossing...
so, naturally, I just assumed I was good to go!"
is the logic, presumably.
This seems similar to the logic of drivers in narrow roads with no pavements/sidewalks and annoying poles that pedestrians have to walk around. From the driver's perspective, if you have to brush past pedestrians, the best course of action, obviously, is to hit that accelerator and take it at speed. At least that's what the drivers around these parts seem to think.
Welcome to Japan, where a red light only means stop if there are too many people in the crosswalk.
BS excuse. Here a traffic light turning yellow means people speed up and even after it turns red, you can usually see at least 2 cars speeding through. I have NEVER seen in 10 years a car being stopped by the police for going through a yellow or red light. Instead of rising taxes, just plant one of the thousands of useless police officers at random crossings !
Whilst I often see Japanese pedestrians waiting at the crossing, even when there is no traffic, for the green man. The same is not true for drivers. I live by a major highway with a long crossing. It is controlled by green and red man and a red stop light to indicate that cars should not go when the green man is lit. However, every driver treats this crossing as a give way. If there isn't a pedestrian actually on the crossing they simply drive through the red light and ignore it. I have seen countless near misses as pedestrians and cyclists move onto the crossing because the green man is lit. And a moped nearly ran me down last week. It's disgusting and I have yet to see a single police person stop and report any of the drivers committing these road traffic offences. It shames Japan and should be stopped immediately.
I honestly dont understand why there is hardly any red light enforcement in Japan, it seems worse and worse tbh, any given crossing you see atleast 3-4 cars running red, sometimes way after light has changed ,especially taxies and female drivers.
Why there are no cops, and why no cameras is beyond me.
I've not seen this in all my experience here. Unless you count the young lads on their noisy bikes at silly o'clock, revving and racing.
Still, at least elderly people aren't being vilified for this unpleasant accident. Hope the kids aren't traumatized.
The way everyone complains about Japanese drivers and people running red lights makes me wonder what other countries you have lived in. I do agree that people not stopping and running red lights is a bad thing, but this problem is hardly unique to Japan. The driving here is much better than South Korea, Eastern Europe, Turkey and the middle east, and of course better than the USA.
We are not comparing Japanese drivers to Foreign ones, why would you want to do that.
The fact is there is an enforcement issue to a rampant problem that often results in death.
I couldnt care less what happens in other countries., I only care that as a matter of fact i can take photos of 4- 5 cars on every single red light that will run it with zero regard to pedestrians , in-fact i have even been beeped at while crossing on green... ,which is plainly insane.
Kobe White Bar Owner
I think bungle boy meant loitering, which is true, just like driving the best indication is your positioning so standing back in a corner with a crossing should be common sense.