crime

Driver held after car slams into 7-Eleven store, killing employee

43 Comments

Police have arrested the 79-year-old driver of a car that plowed into a 7-Eleven convenience store in Higashi-Osaka on Friday morning. A store employee was killed and a customer injured, police said.

Fuji TV reported that the incident occurred at 9:40 a.m. at the Kashitahonmachi store.

The driver, identified as Seizaburo Araki, was quoted by police as saying he pressed the accelerator instead of the brake pedal as he pulled into the parking lot. The car hit a 33-year-old employee who was outside at the time and smashed through the glass front door, injuring a male customer.

The employee was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.

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43 Comments
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79... again. Time to start to think about adding regulation or tests for elderly drivers?

No... probably not.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Actually there are yearly tests for elderly in Japan.......it makes me wonder how they passed them though.

33 years young, so sad.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

As soon as I read the headline, I knew the way this was going to play out. Retired old geezer, got confused between brake and accelerator.

Happens far too often every year. Silly old sod drove straight into the 7-11 downstairs from my apartment last year, half an hour after I took my little girl for ice cream.

There should be proper annual testing for all divers over 65. Not the "sit in a room and fall asleep while we show you a DVD" ceremony they have now.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Here's an opportunity for Japan Inc. that'll give it competitive advantage:

Legislate:

a) smart braking systems for all new cars by, say, 2016 (the tech already exists), and

b) smart braking systems required for Shaken by 2018, providing opportunities for Japan's aftermarket providers and fitters (think Autobacs or Yellow Hat) to develop retrofittable solutions ensuring the tech isn't just the preserve of new car buyers.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Time to start to think about adding regulation or tests for elderly drivers?

They have, obviously not strict enough

Actually there are yearly tests for elderly in Japan

Not quite, I know a 75 year old who just renewed his licence for 3 years

3 ( +5 / -2 )

How can you confuse the gas and brakes? One's on the left the others on the right. Your heel should be in the middle.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

This happens quite often in Japan and it's always the same scenario. An elderly driver presses the gas instead of the brake and drives through the shop. They can't ban all old people from driving, but maybe they should consider barriers in the front of the shops to stop this. My mother is around the same age and she still drives confidently. She's not Japanese though.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

How can you confuse the gas and brakes? One's on the left the others on the right. Your heel should be in the middle.

This is because many of these older drivers, and others too I've heard and seen, use both feet when driving.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

They can't ban all old people from driving, but maybe they should consider barriers in the front of the shops to stop this

Yes, lets put barriers everywhere, in front of shops, bus stops, train stations, schools..... That is not a solution to a problem that will only get worse with the ageing population. Nor is redesigning the car, the pedals in his car are in the same place as they would have been when he started driving 50 years ago.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Always the same story by old people (( saying he pressed the accelerator instead of the brake pedal ))

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

with a steeply ageing population, these types of accidents will only increase. i don't see a good solution here, though. old people have rights, too.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

a) smart braking systems for all new cars by, say, 2016 (the tech already exists),

No matter how smart you make a car, it cannot overcome the poor judgment of a stupid driver.

I used to be a traffic accident investigator, and mixing up the accelerator and brake pedals is a common cause of many accidents. The cure for this mixup is simply to train drivers to use both feet when driving, right foot for the gas, left foot for the brake. It is quite hard to accidentally press the accelerator with your left foot.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

My mother says she never makes this mistake because she drives a manual transmission, not automatic car. Maybe old people should think about that.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Tina, yes exactly! The biggest reason for confusion is driving skill lost by driving AT instead of MT.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I keep saying it even though its the unpopular opinion. Test people over the age of 70 ANNUALLY! There are far too many of these accidents.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

You know... I said this every time this kind of news pop up.... Take the license away when you turn 65....

No need to elders to drive.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

You know... I said this every time this kind of news pop up.... Take the license away when you turn 65.... No need to elders to drive.

Then how are they supposed to get around? I realize that many elderly should not be driving, but there are many that are more than capable and in some cases better drivers than some of the idiot kids Ive seen drive.

Yearly testing is the way to go, taking the licenses away from everyone at 65 is wrong. 65 is NOT old by any means.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

65 I think is a reasonable age.. but it can be extended to 70 I suppose.

They can go around using public transportation or hire a service (car pooling service for example). How they are going to pay? They may be able to pay with the money they use to maintain the car (gas, oil, bi-annual revision, car insurance, etc.)..

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

You will notice this kind of thing does not happen when driving manual transmission cars.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

....@A.N. Other

errrr.... yes they do....

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

They can go around using public transportation or hire a service (car pooling service for example). How they are going to pay? They may be able to pay with the money they use to maintain the car (gas, oil, bi-annual revision, car insurance, etc.)..

Public transportation? Hell lets take away licenses from EVERYONE who causes an accident, no matter their age, and have them use public transport.

Why dont you volunteer to drive them........instead of imposing your ideas on very capable people, put your money where your mouth is and be on call 24/7 for an elderly driver here.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

First.. because I don't have a car..... And second, because Nobody has asked me.

And the idea to pay for a service, is party to encourage the economy, but most importantly to make elder people meet new people and talk (which is good).

No need to get mad... I know, is an idea.. and ideas need to be bashed right?

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

For those who opines a little agressive over old people, don't forget: you will also be an elderly someday. About confusing the pedals irrespective of age, the old manual transmission is still the best system. Left foot for clutch and right foot for gas and brake. If ou miss the left foot, you'll step on the brake. If you miss the right foot, you'll also step the brake. There's almost no chance of accidents this way.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Happens all the time in the States as well. My father handed over his keys at about 80 when he read the news about some old guy plowing into a crowd in New Orleans.

For the disabled in Japan (stroke survivors) there is a 15-minute reactions test when renewing your license

You sit in a simulator and hit the horn (no sound) every time a point of light shows on a video. It appears at different locations on the screen that shows a "through the windshield" driving video, so is testing your peripheral vision as well as your reaction time.

Seems reassuring to me...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

there seriously needs to be some retesting every 5 years or so as there as so many bad drivers out there and are only caught after they do something bad not sure about mainland but here in Okinawa most of them are also the taxi cab drivers

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As an old geezer, I've taken the elderly driving test. It's directed towards your reflexes as well as memory. But what about those elderly bicycle riders? We will all get older before you know it.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

No need to get mad... I know, is an idea.. and ideas need to be bashed right?

Then why not come up with ideas that dont impede on the rights of those that are capable. There is no blanket solution, it's a case by case kind of thing. When people start make comments or thinking that one size fits all you open pandora's box, figuratively speaking, and cross a line where there is no coming back from. First you start with drivers licenses, then what's next..no medical coverage after 70? Hell they can't drive, they cant work, what good are they for society?

Where does it end?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Before screaming that everyone over 65 should be banned from driving, do a bit of research and look at the available evidence. There are several reasons why he could have missed the brake pedal, age isnt the top of the list. Its reasonable for drivers to expect to be tested as they get older, but the available evidence would indicate that younger drivers are far more likely to have an accident than an older one. Theres a reason insurance premiums go down as people age, fewer accidents equals fewer claims..

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Actually there are yearly tests for elderly in Japan

Nope, not as of yet.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The way Japanese system allows the elderly drivers to keep their license and drive without any proper practical tests is ridiculous and responsible for the number of accidents by the elderly that will just keep increasing. As long as they didn't have any accidents they can just go and have their license renewed at the local centre. Just crazy. The other day there was a traffic jam on a major road that had traffic flowing in two lanes in one direction ...the reason?... A kei car driven by an elderly female driver was driving in the opposite direction - she was going at snails pace against a fast flowing 2 lane traffic , instead of putting on the hazard lights and backing up to the point where she entered the road , she decided to keep going the wrong way for kilometres because she obviously didn't know what else to do. Crazy....and people like that are allowed to renew licenses and keep driving.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Wow! I'm so sorry for the employee. R.I.P.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The way Japanese system allows the elderly drivers to keep their license and drive without any proper practical tests is ridiculous and responsible for the number of accidents by the elderly that will just keep increasing.

Ok.

As long as they didn't have any accidents they can just go and have their license renewed at the local centre.

??????

Is there a 'magic number' when an elderly turns from safe ( as in 'didn't have any accidents') driver to that of the opposite??

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Then how are they supposed to get around?

I would also argue that Japan has one of the best, most reliable, and safest public transportation systems in the world. No one really "needs" to drive here. Driving in Japanese is a luxury, not a necessity. But if you can no longer differentiate between an accelerator and brake pedal, you shouldn't be driving PERIOD. And that applies to everyone at any age.

ANNUAL testing for people over the age 70 should be mandatory, and I would say even more often for people over 80 or who drive professionally (bus, taxi drivers etc)

Is there a 'magic number' when an elderly turns from safe ( as in 'didn't have any accidents') driver to that of the opposite??

No, but statistically, you are more likely to make mistakes when you are over or under a certain age. This is why insurance is so high people in their 20's and over 60.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

No, but statistically, you are more likely to make mistakes when you are over or under a certain age. This is why insurance is so high people in their 20's and over 60

. Not according to Marcelito since "they didn't have any accidents"

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Mirai Hayashi Public transport is great in the city but if you live in the countryside you NEED your own transportation!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I'm in favor of yearly driver testing after they reach 65. With that said, what could have happend to this guy is that his foot sliped off the brake pedal when he was pressing down and press the gas petal. This happens mostly to short people who don't adjust their seat properly. By this I mean they are too close to the steering wheel (handle [JP]). I know it can happen to taller drivers too. I'm saying this about all short people in general, with me being one of them. Nothing about Japanese drivers because they seem to be very good overall. Seat adjustment is important.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I would also argue that Japan has one of the best, most reliable, and safest public transportation systems in the world. No one really "needs" to drive here. Driving in Japanese is a luxury, not a necessity

One more person that seems to think that all Japanese live in Tokyo or Osaka.

Get out of the city and see just how inconvenient public transportation in Japan REALLY is.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yubaru - this unnecessary, avoidable tragedy happened in Higashi Osaka.There was no need for this man to be driving when he quite clearly wasn't up to the task.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Get out of the city and see just how inconvenient public transportation in Japan REALLY is.

Yubaru does have a point, the nearest bus stop from my house is a 30 minute walk, and there are 2 or 3 buses a day to the nearest train station.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

First this happend in OSAKA if you live or have visited OSAKA, you will understand who TERRIBLE even the YOUNG drivers are there. Second, this silly old goat should NOT have been driving!!! What kind of an idiot fool does NOT know the difference between the gas pedal and the BRAKES!!!! RIP young guy at his 7 11 konbini!! This old fool and now MILLIONS of them all over Japan, and this wolrd, very SCARY because just a while back, in California, some old idiot fool ran over 10 or 20 people, killing I forgot how many in Santa Monica, and by the way, these ANNUAL CHECKS are NOT ENOUGH, maybe better like 2 or 3 times a year!! Then these older folk who can not tell the difference between the bloody gas pedal and the brake pedal will say, hey, maybe I should ride my BIKE or take a TAXI, WALK, RIDE A BUS etc...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yubaru - this unnecessary, avoidable tragedy happened in Higashi Osaka.There was no need for this man to be driving when he quite clearly wasn't up to the task.

Did you actually read what I was responding to here before you made this comment? I KNOW it happened in Osaka, and depending where one actually lives in Osaka it can be inconvenient for people to have access to public transportation.

The person I was QUOTING made a blanket (incorrect) statement saying that Japan has "Japan has one of the best, most reliable, and safest public transportation systems in the world. No one really "needs" to drive here. Driving in Japanese is a luxury, not a necessity"

That's a fallacy for a huge part of the population.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So many here are stating as a 'fact' that this elderly man didn't know the difference between the brake and accelerator pedals. Having read the article I can't find where it said that he didn't know the difference. It says he pressed the accelerator instead of the brake.I can accidently press the wrong elevator button - it doesn't mean I don't know the difference. It's a error, but nobody dies. I dare say most of these anti-elderly evangelists who like to re-write the article to suit their preconceptions don't drive themselves either. If they did, they would know that wet shoes or loose sandals can cause this type of accident. Most experienced younger drivers and those who drive for a living have, at least once in their driving lifetime, had their right foot slip onto the accelrator, but luckily not in front of a pedestrian. There have recently been deaths caused by drugged up or angry younger people deliberately ploughing into pedestrians. That seems worse to me, but we're not asking for everyone in their 20s to be banned.

I'm all for regular tests for those over whatever age is commonly regarded as being questionable (be it 65 or whatever) - as a precauition. But he worst driving I have witnessed in Japan is not by the elderly. It is by agressive people in the age group 25 - 50 most of whom drive a lot faster than the elderly. Many of them youngish mothers struggling to see out of their massive (and frankly pointless) V8 4x4 'off-roader' in the city and seemingly having no consideration for of any other road user.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They showed the story this morning in the news. The victim had a brother, who died by car accident when he was a child (dunno exactly the reason). Now there is only mom and dad left... How sad...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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