crime

12-year-old girl in serious condition after hit-and-run

25 Comments

A 12-year-old junior high school girl remained in a serious condition in hospital on Thursday after she was hit by a car in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 7 a.m. Wednesday. The girl was walking to school when she was hit on a pedestrian crossing by a car that kept going, TBS reported.

Police later arrested 20-year-old Yudai Kasaoka and charged him with reckless driving resulting in injury.

Police said the young girl was flung nearly 30 meters and suffered severe cranial trauma. At the time of the accident, she had been on her way to early morning brass-band practice and was expecting to attend the second semester end-of-year closing ceremony.

Two hours after the incident, Kasaoka turned himself in to police.

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25 Comments
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Poor girl! I hope she gets better soon!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Maybe it's just my ignorance, but I haven't found the point of the pedestrian crossings yet

6 ( +7 / -1 )

She was flung 30 meters? The driver must have been hooking to get her to bounce that far. Pedestrian crossings are also known as pedestrian refuges in other countries. In Japan they are places where you gamble with your life. Cars do not stop at crossings and many people are seriously injured or killed on crossings.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Turning into the other direction pedestrian crossings are vaild. And peds have right of way and walk like robots disprupting traffic no end. Crossings in the same direction are irrelevant and I have found no purpose for them. Dont expect people to stop. You will be killed if u try to cross on through coming traffic.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

steve Crichton:

What on earth are you on about? Too much wine during your Xmas dinner?

In places where the average driver drives in a more civilized manner (eg UK and USA), cars usually stop when people are crossing the roads at pedestrian crossings, no matter where the car is coming from. In Japan, I find over 95% of the drivers ignore pedestrians. I've had cars swerve round me instead of sparing 3 seconds of their lives to stop and wait for me to finish crossing.

I hope the girl gets better soon. It's a shame the people have to pay a price for having the gall to think that pedestrian crossings are for the benefit of pedestrians.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Absolutely heartbreaking. When my son was growing up one of the kids he started elementary school was knocked off her bike and killed in the first year of junior high school. Being Japan, everyone and his dog attended the funeral. Moreover, when my son graduated they had a slightly faded photo of their deceased classmate. I still see the mother around, some 7 years later. I always find it difficult to strike up a conversation. All the other kids have finished school and are now at university or working, but that one family time seems to have stopped.

Anyway, I hope this young lass recovers, I honestly do.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

"Police later arrested 20-year-old Yudai Kasaoka and charged him with reckless driving resulting in injury."

That's it?? Reckless driving resulting in injury? How about fleeing the scene? Hope the scumbag spends the rest of his life paying the family back. Needless to say I hope the girl recovers, but she'll never fully recover from the trauma that this moronic young man inflicted because he couldn't take a precious few seconds to give priority to the person with priority.

I have a Japanese friend who got back recently from France and she said she was utterly shocked that when she was waiting -- not crossing -- at a pedestrian crossing all of the traffic stopped and waited for her. She said she had NEVER once seen this in Japan. She is a pretty right-wing Japanese woman and so if SHE said that that means it is TRULY a problem here.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

capital punishment regardless of outcome should be instituted to all car vs pedestrian accidents that way, they will be arsed to stop and be carefull So many times I was almost hit and hit by idiots turning like they are alon on the road, lately though I make them stop if i have time and actually call police if can see them around

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

My prayer for the girl to recover soon ....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Can't see the point of crossings here. Rarely do people stop at them. What are they taught at driving school ??

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Driving in Japan is awful! I got a drive-camera installed last year to back me up if someone ever runs out in front of me. The number of times kids have almost run out in front of the car while playing on the footpath (if there is one!) is scary. Then there are bikes!

Assuming the pedestrian had a green light (most pedestrian crossings here have lights) the driver is obviously at fault. We can't condone him fleeing the scene, but at least he gave himself up rather than hiding until caught.

Regardless of the lights, I really wish Japan would do away with giving pedestrians a green light while also giving one to traffic. Some intersections, especially where I drive near Kobe are death-traps and an accident is just waiting to happen (if one hasn't already). When pedestrians have a green light, cars should have a red. Such a simple change would save lives. It's a no-brainer in my opinion.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

dear kiwiboy, I think you need some driving lessons , at ANY circumstances, regardless of the light , pedestrians have the right of way! Always stop your polluting tank!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

" the young girl was flung nearly 30 meters "

Wow! That was not just someone going through a zebra crossing, he was racing through it! I hope the girl gets well, and please take the drivers license away from that moron for the rest of his life! Let him walk, or ride a bicycle.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Kiwiboy - You made an interesting statement about kids running out in front of cars and on bikes, but you have the opinion the wrong way around. It is the responsibility of the DRIVER to anticipate such unexpected events and to be driving at a suitable speed to avoid the unexpected. The speed limit in most city roads is 20-40 kph, but you would hardly notice cod most drivers are exceeding the limit by at least 20kph.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Maybe it's just my ignorance, but I haven't found the point of the pedestrian crossings yet

I have been nearly hit several times to the point that now I find myself sprinting across them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

30 meters? That's almost 100ft! My god! How fast was he going?!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

30 meters? That's almost 100ft!

30 meters? That's 30 meters!

Very few people in the world need that conversion, as we use a logical measurement system.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There is so much going on in Japan with regards to traffic rules that is quite simply totally unreasonable.

We can be pretty sure the driver was speeding by how far the girl was thrown. However, that does not mean that the girl herself did not run out onto the road.

I am often astounded at how poorly traffic speeds are chosen in Japan. Some places are too fast, but most are way too slow. And if you are compelled to ignore the speed limit everyday, then you will just break it with more and more speed.

Next, drivers are expected to stop at zebra crossings if a pedestrian wants to cross even with no light around. How do I know a person wants to cross? How do you another person's intent unless they clearly show it and give you time to react? And remember, there is often more than one pedestrian around you are trying to gauge, and cars too. Sometimes pedestrians just turn on a dime, and start crossing and take you totally by surprise. Other times, they stand near the crossing so you stop, but it turns out they don't want to cross. And just as drivers are sometimes in a hurry, often, so are pedestrians, and they just run out onto the road.

So here we have a girl going to early morning band practice. Any chance she was behind schedule and rushing? Cause I got to tell you, cars really are not hard to spot, even when they are speeding. Not getting hit is as simple as looking both ways and stopping if you see a car coming. But you know what? This rule that cars have to stop has given pedestrians a sense of entitlement. They lose all sense of how long it takes to stop a car, and replace that with a sense that if they step in front of the car, it will stop and the driver will be ashamed or something.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

dear Tim, you are supposed to stop at any crossing, regardless of the pedestrian in it or not, go back to driving school before u kill someone.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have noticed that drivers in Japan do not treat predestrian crossings or red / orange lights the same as in New Zealand. I see people running reds daily, sometimes almost hitting a predestrian on a green cross sign. Gotta have your wits about you here for sure man.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

dear kiwiboy, I think you need some driving lessons , at ANY circumstances, regardless of the light , pedestrians have the right of way! Always stop your polluting tank!

I think my driving is pretty good thanks, and I'm always careful, and do always stop for pedestrians - of course. That said, drivers are human and so precautions by authorities need to be implemented when they can be. No other country I've been to so far gives pedestrians a green light to walk at the same time as giving traffic turning into that pedestrian crossing a green.

I understand it's the driver's responsibility to check for people/bikes that may be intending to cross (never said it wasn't), but it's predictable (and proven countless times by such accidents) that drivers won't always see people/bikes coming. The best solution would be to have traffic stopped on red lights when pedestrians have a green. You can say 'it's the driver's responsibility to stop' all you like, but clearly the current system is not good enough. Don't leave it up to drivers. Less people dead + less drivers in jail = the best outcome for everyone, surely?

It is the responsibility of the DRIVER to anticipate such unexpected events and to be driving at a suitable speed to avoid the unexpected. The speed limit in most city roads is 20-40 kph, but you would hardly notice cod most drivers are exceeding the limit by at least 20kph.

There is only so much that can be anticipated. While driving on an icy road in Nagano there were some children playing on the mounds of snow on the left of the road. Out of no-where one of them ran down the mould of snow and stopped just short of the road. Had they kept going into the road there wouldn't have been much I could have done, even though I saw it unfolding. 5 seconds sometimes is not enough time to take evasive action. Hence drive cameras are a great idea for any driver!

There is a blind faith that pedestrians have in Japan that cars will see them, cars will stop, etc. When I'm a pedestrian I'm not that faithful. Sure if I get hit the driver will be held responsible. But that's no good if I'm dead or injured is it? Some basic education at schools on how to be responsible pedestrians would go a long way. That, some changes to traffic lights and drivers remaining aware would reduce accident rates. Even if it only saves one person it should be implemented, but I'm sure it'd save a lot more.

Oh and while we're at it, lets teach people what happens when people don't wear seat belts!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

High time to bring about an end to economic, transportation, and infrastructure policies that encourage, and eventually necessitates, private automobile ownership. Someday future generations will look back and wonder what the hell we were all thinking.

Annually, there are 1.2 million car accident deaths globally with an increasing rate of pedestrian fatalities. Sheesh.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Annually, there are 1.2 million car accident deaths globally with an increasing rate of pedestrian fatalities. Sheesh.

And imagine how many don't die, but are seriously injured. It is a crazy number!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ Stanfgerland 30 meters? That's 30 meters! Very few people in the world need that conversion, as we use a logical measurement system.

Strangerland, I am embarrassed to say that I do not live in one of the countries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

kiwiboy, no , your concept of the road rules is wrong. Unless you on a highway where pedestrians should not be , you need to be watching out every second. Yes the blind faith is correct, simply because in front of every crossing you should slowdown and no you should not be exceeding speed that would allow you to stop in any emergency. if you dont like these rules - tough luck, I dont see why would anyone need a car in the city anyways.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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