Two 19-year-old drivers arrested for racing each other 6 kms down mountain road


Police in Hanno, Saitama Prefecture, said Thursday they have arrested two 19-year-old youths on suspicion of violating the traffic law after they drove two cars recklessly down a mountain road notorious for its continuous curves.

The suspects – who cannot be named because they are minors – are both residents of Iruma in Saitama Prefecture. One is a company employee while the other is a student at a technical school.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 11:42 p.m. on April 20. The cars sped six kilometers down the road with several sharp curves along National Route 299 for about four minutes, while risking the safety of other drivers.

Police quoted the suspects as saying they like racing each other in cars. The two were driving sports cars owned by their fathers.

While the legal speed limit on the mountainous road is 40 kph, the suspects’ cars were moving at 70 to 80 kph. In addition, they made a U-turn at the Agano Tunnel and competed with each other for the fastest driving time and skills on their return route.

At the time, there were multiple reports of noise pollution by residents in the surrounding area.

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Hoons racing at more than double the speed limit results in the cars being confiscated and crushed in Australia a long with a 3-5 year license suspension and a hefty fine. I doubt if daddies’ sports cars will be confiscated and crushed in Japan though.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Real life "Initial D"

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Not condoning it but teenage boys with cars have been racing each other since there have been teenage boys and cars.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

Are Hoons common in Japan? In Australia there are hoons doing burnouts in industrial areas which has wider roads. Also years ago there were hoons gathering on the Gold Coast and then headed to the highway between Gold Coast and Brisbane every weekends. They blocked off all the lanes of the highway to do rolling start races. I was caught by these twice and took me double the time to get home. It only stopped after a massive police crack down.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Minors? But old enough to acquire a license and drive a car like a maniac.

Raise the driving age a tad so they can face the consequences for driving dangerously, especially should they cause harm, injury or death to innocents.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

I see Saitama is back to making the daily crime section. The sadder part still is that these "minors" will face ZERO penalties for their crimes.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Who won?

10 ( +15 / -5 )

"The two were driving sports cars owned by their fathers."

Ha! Ha! Ha!

8 ( +10 / -2 )


Your comment made me laugh. Raise the driving age?!? YES! In America (where I used to live) we get our Drivers Learners Pernit at age 14. I was 16 driving from state to state to visit family (alone). I have noticed in Japan that teenagers are way more immature in Japan, compared to American teenagers. I fully suppprt rasing the age to aquire a drivers license, in Japan. In America we are taught to be independent and are not taken care of by our parents until they passaway. HUGE culture differences.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Cool. We where all young once?

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

kids have been racing down the mountains for decades. I included back in the 80s. You they telling us that they finally caught someone?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

sounds like the final race of Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Curvy mountain roads are famous/notorious for racing esp at night and on weekends and there is just too many of them to control....remember the road around Hakone atop the surrounding ridge had many skid-marks and U-turns. While the road here down from Karuizawa to Yokogawa was made famous through 'Initial D', I think the one from Komoro up to Asama2000 would be quite some fun with the right car bc you got very irregular curves with way more than 180 degrees! That said, when it's close to residential areas (most of them are not) it is a disturbance that should be dealt with.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Minors?! This joke is still going on? Old enough to vote.... Yet still minors.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Morons. But daddy is rich enough to pay their way out of jail

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Daddy’s car?

That says it all!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

There are ways to prevent this- I've seen touge with concrete blocks in the centerline median that prevent any kind of drifting or taking aggressive racing lines. Perhaps it will help to reduce risk-taking, but there's no way to completely eliminate kids doing dumb stuff with overpowered cars.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Been there, done that, lived to take it onto the track, and finally tell the tale.

Even so, there are some basic precautions that these two seem to have ignored.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

With all the negative press lately about the danger elderly drivers expose us to it's almost refreshing to see that young ones can also be a menace.

A geezer who still drives safely.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What kind of cars? How about some actual details? Skyline? Silvia?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"The sadder part still is that these "minors" will face ZERO penalties for their crimes."

It's irrelevant if in your country majority starts at age seven;.

In Japan the Law says a 19 years old is a minor.

Dura Lex, sed Lex.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

In other words, no one was actually harmed.

This is one of those cases where I'll come down on shielding minors from criminal liability. They do have increased vulnerability to strong passions and liking to push the limits is not necessarily a bad trait. Further, long term consequences tend to fade in the youngster's mind.

This is mere administrative-criminal liability for something that ended without actual consequences. Minors should not be subject to such things.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I was on an Onsen trip to Kyushu when some Jack A came up flying up from behind thinking he's Speed Racer. I stopped in the middle of the road and made 'em pass. Morons.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Remove the Armco - problem solved.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

200 years ago, young men probably ran down a dangerous mountain trail to see who'd win, or they raced horses. It is called Testosterone and some young men are full of it. The one's that have too much, well they end up in various sports, the military, or sometimes become Yakuza. Hate to say it... but they just cannot help themselves.... they are the one's that we really relied on to protect the tribe when invaded. You can't throw out millions of years of genetics in ten or twenty generations. Plus, we still need them.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Then let them loose in an arcade with 10,000 yens worth of 100 yen coins...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why are my last comment getting so many down thumbs? I just asked a question if Hoons are common in Japan and then tells what happened in where I lived. No personal opinion said. Well, I guess online people are weird.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The Fast and Furious franchise should be banned....

It causes kids to deck their (non type-R) civics with tacky and (probably) counter-productive mods, ugly decals, and inefficient fart can exhaust pipes that mess with the combustion timing.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

And at near midnight I doubt there was any traffic to pose a danger to. What they usually endanger is people's sleep who can hear them from their homes and of course, themselves.

They need to set up tracks for the guys to race on. As soon as they do that, half will forget the allure of the whole thing.

SaikoPhysco wrote: they are the one's that we really relied on to protect the tribe when invaded.

I think you overlooked the fact that they were the type doing the invading in the first place. All you got to do is rebrand an invasion as defense and there they are, killing and dying, but never dying fast enough for my taste.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

While the legal speed limit on the mountainous road is 40 kph, the suspects’ cars were moving at 70 to 80 kph

40 kmh = 25 mph

80 kmh = 50 mph

These two weren't going too fast. I regularly take the 25 mph highway exit lamp at 60 mph as well, no issues other than worn tires. Make sure the road is dry before attempting a 60 mph turn.

3 ( +5 / -2 )


From your name, I reckon you like racing uphill rather than down. Respectable, as it requires more torque.

Read the rest of my post again. Yes, I am aware that my brand of humor is not for everyone.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why is this even news? Because we all know "NOTHING will happen to them" because they're "minors". They will sign some paper from the police saying they won't do this again and that's that! Next!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why is this even news? Because we all know "NOTHING will happen to them" because they're "minors".

We do? I don't know that.

They will sign some paper from the police saying they won't do this again and that's that! Next!

What would you suggest?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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