Car plows into group of children, injuring 5


A sports car plowed into a group of elementary school children on their way to school Tuesday morning, injuring five of them, including a six-year-old boy seriously, in Yawata, Kyoto Prefecture.

Police arrested the 18-year-old driver and charged him with reckless driving resulting in injury, TV Asahi reported.

According to police, the incident occurred just before 8 a.m. Witnesses said that the sports car turned left at an intersection, hit a guardrail and veered across the street through a metal fence and then hit a group of 13 children who were on their way to school. The car then crashed into the front of a house.

The five children who were injured are aged between 6 and 11, police said. One six-year-old boy suffered severe head injuries.

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Probably too busy downloading aps on his new iphone to notice the kids.Hope they throw him in jail and forget about him!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Oh No....please not another tragedy in Kyoto. It was just over a year ago in April when they had to two horrific accidents involving someone hitting a group people in Kyoto. One 18 year old driver (no license) hit a group kids and killed one school girl and one pregnant woman (7 months). Another incident involved a male driver who suffered a seizure and plowed another group, and he killed 8 individuals. It's so sad to hear stories like this.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Might be hard to use the age-old excuse here of mistaking the break for the accelerator.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What's an 18 year old doing in a sports car in the first place?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

At least there was a footpath/sidewalk, with a fence that reduced the impact. Most roads have neither, and we could really benefit from some traffic calming.

So many roads could quite economically be turned into one way streets with protected pedestrian/cyclist zones.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Wow honestly I feel teenagers shouldn't have licenses, over here we have to wait until 16 but some people want to up it to 21 because there's so many minors are so irresponsible. This is a classic case.

I pray for the children's fast recoveries. And that kid loses his license.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Go to that town sometimes for one of the few Costco options for Kansai people.

I wonder if Japan ever thought of the school bus system instead of children walking to school. They are always open game for car accidents, perverts and kidnappers. I am tired of this and don't want my kid ever to be in the same situation.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

At least there was a footpath/sidewalk, with a fence that reduced the impact. Most roads have neither, and we could really benefit from some traffic calming.

The best traffic calming feature of Japanese roads IS the lack of footpath or sidewalk. When there are guardrails and pedestrians are segregated away from cars, drivers tend to take less care about how they drive, they take more risks because they perceive the road to be safer for higher speeds. When drivers are on small narrow two-way roads where pedestrians and cyclists walk on the same street cars are driven on, it forces them to slow down and take care about the other people using the road.

This may sound unintuitive, but as a traffic engineer, I tell you it is the absolute truth. An unsafe road perceived to be unsafe is safer than a safe road perceived to be safe. Also, marking lines on the streets for cars and pedestrians lead to cars driving CLOSER to pedestrians than they otherwise would because drivers follow the lines instead of taking into account other users of the road. Also, it leads drivers to be more aggressive and pushy to people who are in "their" lane.

Leave Japan's narrow roads alone. They're some of the safest in the world because they're not designed exclusively to facilitate high-speed car travel. Even when there are serious accidents, these tend to happen on the major arterials, where pedestrians and cars are segregated, with sidewalks and guardrails and the like.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Thoughts and prayers for the kid in the hospital with severe head injuries, hope he has a good, healthy recovery.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Thanks for the info, kchose. What you say makes perfect sense, and I've seen it over the last twenty-three years, but not really understood until now.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I wonder if Japan ever thought of the school bus system instead of children walking to school. They are always open game for car accidents, perverts and kidnappers. I am tired of this and don't want my kid ever to be in the same situation.

I don't know, I personally think the absence of school buses is a great feature of Japan, it teaches kids to be independent of mobility at a very young age. I remember my North American suburban youth and it was awful in that regard. My house was a cage, a golden one but a cage nonetheless, I couldn't go anywhere on my own because nothing was within walking distance. The school bus came in the morning at a specific and unique time to bring me to another cage, school, then it came to take me back home in the evening at a specific and unique time. I couldn't stay after school for activities unless I begged my parents for a lift.

It's much better to have kids walk to school or take public transit to it like Japan does. As to perverts and kidnappers, that is a fear that is unjustified by the actual rate of such kidnappings. Kids have more chances to be killed by lightning than to be kidnapped by strangers in the streets. Teach them to take precautions, but don't keep them in locked cages to try and keep them safe, especially since it doesn't work.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

It is a sport car. This 18 year old boy;s parents are responsible for giving him the car key. His parents should be arrested. They probably own one pr two family cars. Not poor folks. So, trial and penalty of at least equivalent of hospital cost fines.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

According to NHK news the car became airborne for a distance of seven meters before plowing into the children.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Wow when did Japan change the legal driving age from 20 to 18? That is stupid. But 18 is better than under 18 according to the Insurance Institute. Teens are not mentally ready to drive and they get bad driving habits that last the rest of their life. This kid must have slammed the pedal and since sports cars usually have wider tires, it easy to fishtail.

As for school buses, I have always thought it is a waste of tax money. It's not only Japan that rely on good public transportation. NYC uses it's public transportation for school kids too. Elementary school kids tend to go schools near them anyway but later for special High Schools as Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech, LaGuardia High School (Arts and Music), and Stuyvesant High School. These are specialized schools and require at passing special tests to get in, except LaGuardia which requires passing auditions. Since many of these schools lets kids stay late of is open 24 hours for them, the NYC 24 hr public transportation system is the most efficient method of transport. Same for Japan and especially large cities as Tokyo, the public transportation system is the most efficient method since kid can attend from anywhere in the city or even outside the city. Never heard of any real problems.

As for this accident, the kids where actually well protected. The car was able to drive through the barriers. Maybe fly over the barriers is better way of saying it. He must have not hit the breaks or let up on the gas. Take a look at these to articles with pictures.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In other news websites, they are saying the 18 yo was doing so called drifting... That could explain it

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Whenever I see a tailgaitor in my rear view mirror ear. , he's usually a young driver. Young drivers over speed. I know. I was young once.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I thought Get Real had a good comment. Then boom! kchoze with a counter. Both are great views. Thanks for sharing your experiences and thoughts (both of you). One ways are a good idea. Seems doable. With guardrails, just on the one side. I think most pedestrians would prefer protection.

Accidents, especially cars vs. people are total bummers. I'm sorry.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So much for Safety Week!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Saw it on the news this morning, looked like he was trying to do "Initial D" Way to high speed, hope the kids will be allright.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Was a nice car - Nissan 370Z. Probably a rich young spoiled kid driving a car way too powerful given that he can only just have passed his licence test. Car apparently flew almost 7 metres in the air so he must have been going some.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why do people want to change the rules for an entire class of people based on one idiot?

And it seems that one cardinal rule this idiot may have learned the hard way is that you should always get your tires properly warmed up before you go hot-rodding, otherwise you don't have enough friction to keep control. Plenty of other little rules any fool knows that this one does not. Please, no suspended sentence of this one!

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

In the UK these days boy racers like this cannot afford the insurance to drive anything sporty.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

smithinjapanSep. 24, 2013 - 10:04PM JST Might be hard to use the age-old excuse here of mistaking the break for the accelerator.

The coffee break?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@AKBfan its a 350z NOT A 370Z check the taillights....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Parents that irresponsibly give their spoiled rich kids sports cars when they are new drivers should be held liable for the inevitable accidents that then follow. There are so many stories of rich kids getting powerful cars for their 18th Birthdays and then within hours killing themselves and others as they aren't able to handle them competently and responsibly. AS such an accident is reasonably foreseeable the parents should share civil if not criminal liability. Also would it not be a good idea to age restrict (or experience restrict) powerful cars as they do motorbikes?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Is that a real license plate? Never seen one like that. Looks fake. Very serious accident. Made headline news for more than just a day. He's considered a minor and very, very little will happen to him. He'll be out and driving soon again. Shouldn't be but it is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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