crime

Mother of road-rage victim calls for harsher penalties

21 Comments

The mother of a man killed two years ago in a road-rage incident near Tokyo is calling for harsher penalties against offenders in the wake of a recent high-profile case of the same type.

"A tragic accident may be forgotten and a similar thing occurs again. I believe it is necessary to make laws stricter to prevent road rage," Fumiko Hagiyama, 79, recently told Kyodo News.

An Aug 10 incident in which Fumio Miyazaki, 43, is suspected of reckless driving and assaulting another driver has revived memories of the June 5, 2017 road-rage attack that led to the deaths of Hagiyama's 45-year-old son Yoshihisa and his 39-year-old wife Yuka on the Tomei Expressway in Kanagawa Prefecture.

Miyazaki, who was arrested Monday after being put on a wanted list, allegedly forced a man to pull over on the Joban Expressway in Ibaraki Prefecture and punched him through the open window.

Video captured by a dashboard camera on the victim's car has been widely reported and shared online together with footage of the suspect resisting arrest on a street in Osaka. Miyazaki has reportedly confessed to the charges.

The case against Miyazaki includes reckless driving as he allegedly switched lanes repeatedly and braked abruptly in front of the victim's car over a stretch of several kilometers before forcing him off the road.

Police are investigating Miyazaki's possible involvement in other incidents last month in which the same type of sports utility vehicle engaged in similar aggressive driving in Aichi and Shizuoka prefectures in central Japan.

Watching the Ibaraki road-rage footage on TV news, Hagiyama said, "One wrong step and the victim of the latest incident could have faced the same calamity. He must have felt scared."

In the Kanagawa incident, Kazuho Ishibashi, 27, was indicted on charges of dangerous driving resulting in death and an assault, as prosecutors applied stricter charges than at the time of arrest amid strong public outcry.

According to the ruling of the Yokohama District Court, the married couple died on the highway after Ishibashi blocked a lane of the road by stopping his car in front of their vehicle, which was then hit from behind by a truck. Their two daughters also sustained injuries.

Last December, the court sentenced Ishibashi to an 18-year prison term. He has appealed to a high court.

© KYODO

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

21 Comments
Login to comment

I am sorry for her loss. No parent should outlive their child.

Thank you for speaking out against this.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Last December, the court sentenced Ishibashi to an 18-year prison term. He has appealed to a high court.

So 9 years is the value of the life of a mother or father with small children here?!?!

In my opinion, these road rage incidents are premeditated by nature as like the recent case, they go on for more than just a minute or two, and there is plenty of time for people to take a deep breath and think about their actions. It's not a spur of the moment kind of thing.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

in fairness the laws are stricter now. the pos miyazaki got 15 years for punching the dude, which to me seems pretty harsh. given the fact that a mother got only 6 years for killing her child last year....

in the older incident 18 years for vehicular manslaughter seems too light though.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Road rage incidents resulting in death should have harsher penalty to the guilty offender, perhaps death.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Using a car as a weapon to intimidate others should carry a mandatory 20 year sentence!

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Was arguing with my J wife about Japanese penalties, anyone would agree that murder is worse than simple assault. Yet 6 years for killing your child and 15 years for road rage punching. She said if you kill you own child the sentence is lighter because its your own. Sentences are larger if you do something to people outside your family..... Um.... ok...... I still think murder is worse than punching someone... no matter who the victim is.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I think dangerous driving on purpose to threaten someone should be punished much more harshly than merely reckless driving, which could just be fatigue, side effects from meds, emotional breakdown, etc.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

@ Dango bong, my wife has told me the same thing as yours. If a crime within your own family occurs, even if it's murder, the courts don't punish it nearly as much as crimes against others outside of it.

This is why parents who kill their own kid should have a much, much longer punishment.

The road rage incident resulting in death should at least have a minimum of 20 years.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I'd be calling for harsher penalties for any crime in general here

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

anyone have a link to the video of miyazki assult ? can't find.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

My wife is re-learning to drive after 25 years with a paper license. Stories like these are not very reassuring. It I’m doing the best I can to teach her how to look out for potential accidents and crazies. She wants a small car but I’ve nixed any ideas about a K car. I think the Volkswagen Polo seems very safe.

Invalid CSRF

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Emotions are a bad basis for laws and punishments.

Its highly unlikely anyone would be intending to start a chain reaction where upon stopping a car causes a truck to hit that car and kill the occupants. Punishments totally out of proportion to the intent will never prevent such incidents nor bring back the dead. In fact, going all Draconian can have the opposite effect to where a person realizes they better get rid of witnesses or their life is over.

Fact is most people don't drive dangerously because they don't want scratches on their car, their car seriously damaged, the hassle of an accident, wind up late for work and a ton of other mundane reasons. The people who can forget all that and proceed to risk it all over some incident on the road are not going to care even if you make the penalty death by weeks of torture.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I am not disillusioned by the media reporting of this particular case of road rage. This once again is signs of mental health issues. The guy definitely needs help not stricter laws. Regrettable that the woman in the story lost her loved ones, but so did others in more violent crimes where there are laws and nothing much happened to them if they have monetary means. It is unfortunate that in Japan we have trial by jury still existing today.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

This lady is right.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Society is outrages when people use guns and knives as weapons; even when just threatening people and not actually attacking them. But when the weapon is an automobile, people seem not to care as much. I don't know about most people, but I'm a lot more afraid of being killed or maimed by an automobile driver, whether it's malicious or negligent, than I am of any more conventional weapon.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

 the pos miyazaki got 15 years for punching the dude

Er, he hasn't even faced trial yet.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Ishibashi and Miyazaki are social deviants and are a fine example of a growing sector of psychological misfits in the new Japanese society

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If you're in a situation where you're genuinely afraid to confront another driver, don't get out of your car, especially if you're a female. Make a beeline to the nearest police officer, police box or police station.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

These folks should be charged with premeditated murder, not with manslaughter.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Punishments totally out of proportion to the intent will never prevent such incidents nor bring back the dead.

They can keep yahoos who are a menace to society off the streets for longer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Has Road rage always existed, or is it a new thing ?

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