A 65-year-old diabetic man who drove the wrong way along a one-street in Osaka has been charged with dangerous driving resulting in injury.
According to police, Noriyuki Miyatani turned right into Midosuji street at around 4 p.m. on June 30. He drove the wrong way, hitting a woman on her bicycle, fracturing her ribs. He then backed up and went in the other direction, hitting a truck, before smashing into the wall of a store.
Miyatani and the truck driver also sustained injuries.
Miyatani's family told police that he was a diabetic and that he suffered from hypoglycemia which can cause dizziness, NTV reported.
Police waited until Miyatani recovered from his injuries and then questioned him on Friday. He was quoted by police as saying he had taken his insulin injections on the morning of the accident and that while he was driving, he felt hungry and ate some sweets, NTV reported. However, police said Miyatani cannot remember causing the accident.
Miyatani was charged under a new law that went into effect in May to toughen penalties for dangerous driving. The law, drawn up by the Ministry of Justice, is aimed at those who drive without a license or who hide a medical condition that might affect their driving when they apply for a license.
Under the new bill, causing death while driving drunk or as a result of a chronic condition, such as epilepsy and hypoglycemia, will be punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment. Furthermore, anyone who hides a medical condition that may affect their driving when they apply for a license face a penalty of one year in jail and a fine of 300,000 yen.
Medical professionals who are aware that their patients who suffer epilepsy or schizophrenia are driving, are required to report it to public safety authorities.© Japan Today