crime

Police checking dash cam over car accident that left 2 toddlers dead

32 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

32 Comments
Login to comment

Felt really terrible after reading about this on the morning paper.  Drivers tend to forget that a split second miss can result in a gigantic damage.  I have also noticed an increase in people using their phones while drivingI used to notice 2-3 drivers during my 10 minute walk home along a national road, now it's 2-3 drivers not using their phone. If the police wants to catch these offenders, I suggest they walk during rush hours.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Of the 13 children hit by the light vehicle, two of them, both aged 2, were killed while another 2-year-old was left in critical condition.

I'm really sorry to those families.

The driver of the light vehicle, Michiko Shimoyama, 62, was also arrested at the scene but was released later Wednesday as the police apparently deemed she did not have much responsibility in the accident. Shimoyama's light vehicle was the only one equipped with a dashcam, according to the police.

She's pretty fortunate since her dashcam can be really useful in this kind of situation. Especially when it needs to determine who was driving carelessly that lead that fatal accident.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

She's pretty fortunate since her dashcam can be really useful in this kind of situation.

You think? The dash cam will only help establish how much of the fault she bears. Was she too fast or not? Did she react in way, and if not why not? In Japan you can self incriminate with evidence you took.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

You think? The dash cam will only help establish how much of the fault she bears. Was she too fast or not? Did she react in way, and if not why not? In Japan you can self incriminate with evidence you took.

In Japan for any accident that involved at least two cars, even innocent car driver that become a victim can not have 0 % responsibility , usually will get around 10%. So can you imagine if she didn't have that dashcam? She only can hope that investigation will clear her.

Thanks to her dashcam so those investigator rely on her cam to find out what is really going on at that time.

The driver of the light vehicle, Michiko Shimoyama, 62, was also arrested at the scene but was released later Wednesday as the police apparently deemed she did not have much responsibility in the accident.

Otherwise she'll be under custody like Fumiko

The driver of the car, Fumiko Shintate, 52, who was arrested at the scene of the Wednesday accident

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Japanese roads (alleys) are very much complicated like mazes since the roads were built when cars were not running. Drivers are easily get lost when they are driving in Tokyo. To lessen traffic accidents, roads must be rearranged. But it is not possible.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

School routes need to be checked to ensure safety at intersections.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Freak event. Police will be forced to intimidate drivers for small infractions. But people need to know that safe driving is safe driving.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I feel for the people who have to review that footage

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Not just drivers but city planners and polices are also blamed. They are responsible for the safety of traffics. This tragedy proved, people on the pedestrians paths are not safe. Car makers are also responsible for neglecting developing safe cars.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

What happened to all the people complaining about elderly drivers causing so many accidents? Yesterday, those people were out in droves!

Now we see evidence that the younger driver was actually at fault,

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

How may people have drivers killed today in Japan?

Elsewhere its at least 5 a day and that's in places with "better safety" record.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

National Police Agency Commissioner General Shunichi Kuryu said the police intend to beef up safety measures including setting up more guardrails along routes to and from schools.

I'll believe this when I see it. 90% of city taxes go to paying inflated salaries to the zombies that work at your local city hall.

Complacency and irresponsibility are very common among Japanese drivers. This afternoon walking home from the station I saw three cars and two motorbikes go straight through a stop sign. I'm sure everybody sees multiple driving offenses every day. Speeding, using phones, racing through red lights, ignoring pedestrian crossings, drink driving, the list goes on and on! The manners of Japanese drivers are definitely atrocious! When I first came here I didn't know stop signs were stop signs. I thought they were give way signs because I never saw anybody stop at them. The Japanese traffic police definitely have a lot to answer for. The complacency and recklessness of Japanese drivers is a direct result of the passive policing. I drive every day and have done for nearly two decades in Japan. I am on my second gold licence. I have never had a traffic ticket. This is . mostly becasue I am a safe driver who stops at signals and signs and I do not exceed speed limits. However, it is also because I rarely encounter Japanese traffic police despite doing 20-30,000 kilometers per year. If the Japanese police were to get the butts out of the kobans and onto the roads they would very quickly pay off the public debt. At the very least they should introduce red light cameras. They also need to address the fine system. going through a red light is a ¥9,000 fine and 1 point off your licence. However, a parking fine can cost you upwards of ¥15,000. It's absolutely ridiculous! A fine for using your phone while driving is ¥50,000, but due to so few drivers actually being caught and penalised at least 50% (possibly more) of drivers are using their phones while driving. Gambling is illegal in Japan, until you get on the roads. Then, you gamble with your life!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Dash-cams are the way to go folks, especially those of you who are foreigners driving in Japan. I don't trust the police to believe my version of events when up against a Japanese citizen. Anyway, I feel much better now with the dash-cam backing me up as a witness as to what occurs in front of my car.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Although there is no proof of the matter in this case I wish to point out the biggest culprit around the world today are mobile phones. I see drivers looking at their phones sometimes even texting while driving. Police need to get tough on such people.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

stormcrowToday 06:59 pm JST

Dash-cams are the way to go folks, especially those of you who are foreigners driving in Japan. I don't trust the police to believe my version of events when up against a Japanese citizen. Anyway, I feel much better now with the dash-cam backing me up as a witness as to what occurs in front of my car.

I fitted two cams to my car. One front and one rear facing.

The number of tailgater i have reported.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I have a dash cam front and rear. I haven’t had to use them as evidence in an accident, but I have some very amusing footage of idiots and buttholes.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I bet she was using her cellphone while driving. I see it all the time while cycling. Horrible.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"How may people have drivers killed today in Japan?"

Good question. Next question who gets it tomorrow? You? Me?

Japanese are bad drivers. They are rotten drivers. If you are pedestrian about to cross the road, they speed up. If you are in the middle of the road they swerve past you with an inch to spare. The light turning red is a signal to speed up. If you see someone entering an intersection you speed up and cut the other car off. If both cars speed up there is trouble, big trouble. As we see in this article.

The police generally do not care about these infractions, of course.

Oh yes, if you just miss getting creamed, forcing the driver to screech to a halt the driver will press mightily down on the horn. Honk, honk: it's your fault.

Japanese are not simply bad drivers.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The driver of the light vehicle, Michiko Shimoyama, 62, was also arrested at the scene but was released later Wednesday after the police deemed she did not bear responsibility for the collision.

Should they not have investigated things first, before arresting somebody?

Sorry, I forgot, this happened in Japan -- where they arrest you before they've done any investigation that actually gives them a reason to arrest you.

That makes zero sense to me.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Although there is no proof of the matter in this case I wish to point out the biggest culprit around the world today are mobile phones. I see drivers looking at their phones sometimes even texting while driving. Police need to get tough on such people.

The arrested driver admitted she wasn’t paying enough attention to the road at the time of the accident, so its reasonable to speculate that a cell phone or other device may have been involved. I totally agree that police need to crack down on it, distracted driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Every time I drive I think of the possibility of a crash that injures children. I try to be extra careful near schools and when I see children near. I have 50 years of accident and ticket free driving about 15% of that in Japan. I never take driving for granted. After hearing this heartbreaking story I will drive even more carefully. I cannot imagine having an accident that injures a person of any age. I will be installing a drive recorder (dash cam) soon. I'm going to think of the video it records as public information for all to see. Someday I will have to make the decision to give up my license. The dash cam will help with that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Perhaps corner crash barriers should be mandatory for all corner crossings. But even then, there will always be the chance of an accident, a large articulated truck with trailer could misjudge the turning distance and smash its way through such a barrier. Roads are always dangerous places, and extra caution needs to be exhibited especially when taking a number of young kids with you. Around where I live, I see young adults from local nursery's pushing kids around in trolleys, occasionally there's a line of kids walking in twos with maybe 2 or 3 (again young Adults) watching over them. I dont know what, those supervisors/teachers could do to stop any similar accidents happening - at least the trolley would provide some limited sort of safety barrier for the kids.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In and interview I recently heard Yoko Tawada, an award-winning Japanese writer, state that those Japanese who have never lived abroad are quite unaware of the dangers in their environment. She described it that it's as if they are sleepwalking. I concur. It's the best description I've ever heard from a national who recognizes that Japan is not as safe as it believes itself to be.

I have often stood and gaped at numerous instances of extreme disregard for children's safety I have observed in Japan. Adults also routinely pay little attention to their own. Many of these practices would not happen elsewhere. For example, in this tragic instance the article states

There were no guardrails or curbs at the intersection. *

I cannot imagine childcare personnel in my country (or many others) taking toddlers--or children of any age--for a walk in traffic under any circumstances.

I imagine that there were "sidewalks;" however, I also know that many so-called sidewalks in Japan are merely lines painted on pavement less than a meter away from both the house butting up against the street and the street itself. To use such a "sidewalk" pedestrians often must choose whether to strut like a heron through flower pots place in it or walk in the area designated for traffic. It's a danger which is routine and thereby normalized because it is ubiquitous.

My heart bleeds for these children, their families and the caregivers also injured. However, will such practices stop? I suspect not. In fact, I'd place a sizeable bet that the same daycare will consider it a "terrible accident" and will follow the same route with more children at some not too distant future date.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

My deepest condolences...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is a BIG responsibility when your driving a vehicle, Yet many people take this responsibility very lightly so they Text, Talk on the phone, Eat, Smoke, Drive Drunk, even Day Dream while driving a vehicle. I wonder what condition Fumiko Shintate was in when she was driving her vehicle. Now two little children are dead and their families have to live with the pain of losing their children. I truly feel for the families, I could not imagine the pain of losing a child.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@JenniSchiebel

Should they not have investigated things first, before arresting somebody?

Sorry, I forgot, this happened in Japan -- where they arrest you before they've done any investigation that actually gives them a reason to arrest you.

That makes zero sense to me.

That's how it works anywhere. If you are suspected of a crime worthy of arrest, you are arrested. Once you are cleared, you are released. It's not any kind of backwards Japanese thing...

Put it this way. If the police come to a murder scene and find a man holding a gun, they arrest the man holding the gun because it looks like he did it. Should they let the guy go because they haven't proved it yet, even though he probably is the killer? No, they would investigate while he is in custody and release him if they find that they are wrong. The same thing that happened here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Bugle Boy of Company B

What happened to all the people complaining about elderly drivers causing so many accidents? Yesterday, those people were out in droves!

Now we see evidence that the younger driver was actually at fault,

There were three people blaming elderly drivers. Out of 65 comments. That's hardly what I would consider 'droves'.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

After an unfortunate, freak accident, lets spend billions building barriers on every corner.

What a waste of public money that could be used to lay concrete in river beds, or build huge sea walls to protect small seaside towns which will have no population in 30 years.

The way Japan throws its finances away after every disaster large or small in a knee jerk, stable door slam is mind boggling.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

+1 on making sure you have a dash cam.

I despite being here over a decade, gold license with no infractions, I don't think my chances are good of fairness in a case of an accident caused by some old man speeding around in their little K-Truck ignoring more or less every traffic rule if I didn't have my own evidence.

Currently I only have front facing but need a rear one too, quite often I will have people follow me too closely or start to drive aggressively when Im being especially cautious around pedestrian crossings.

I have heard about this almost never complete 0% or 100% fault assignment in traffic accidents, I wonder if thats cultural?

Surely if you are keeping safe following distance, following speed limits, staying in lane etc and someone hits you out of the blue how is it any of your fault? Simply that you exist?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think you have to be hit when stopped to get 0%. Depending on how they handle the matter, 10% may be effectively zero.

If a busy junction has lots of right turning cars and one of them can clip an oncoming one and send it into pedestrians who actually exist and use those paths, then you need some kind of barrier. This junction was a known risk for right turns and had a special signal sequence that most drivers in Japan will have never seen. What the authorities failed to understand is how easily a right turn accident could send a car onto the pavement and into pedestrians. That junction already has a crash barrier but it is on the opposite side preventing any car that fails to make the turn from falling in a paddy.

Common sense should tell you that you don't need crash barriers at every single junction in Japan. Most have no special right turn risk and/or have no pedestrians on the side in question.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have heard about this almost never complete 0% or 100% fault assignment in traffic accidents, I wonder if thats cultural?

I was hit by a car while riding my bicycle. The light turned green and I started to cross the crossing with some other people walking when a car turning left drove right into me. luckily, I was only going slowly and had a helmet on. Still went to hospital and the driver came to say sorry (a young guy).

Even then, I was 10% i the blame while the driver was 90%. After all the hassle with the insurance company, he pretty much got his car fully repaired (I smashed his bonnet and my bike broke the windscreen). I got 50% of my bicycle value back plus x-ray fees etc. That really sucked !

Strange part of the experience was when I went for a x-ray to check my sore leg and back (possibly from the shock). I told him about the pain and received 2 large shopping sized bags of painkillers and those heat pads. Bill just for the medicine was 36,000 yen paid by the driver.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Even then, I was 10% i the blame while the driver was 90%. After all the hassle with the insurance company, he pretty much got his car fully repaired (I smashed his bonnet and my bike broke the windscreen). I got 50% of my bicycle value back plus x-ray fees etc. That really sucked !

Strange part of the experience was when I went for a x-ray to check my sore leg and back (possibly from the shock). I told him about the pain and received 2 large shopping sized bags of painkillers and those heat pads. Bill just for the medicine was 36,000 yen paid by the driver.

Next time, do it right. If your story is accurate, there's no reason you should have even 10% responsibility. In any case, you could have milked the doctor / rehab visits for at least 6 months. You get paid transportation and partial salary.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites