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Woman gets 4 1/2-year sentence over road accident that killed 2 children

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4 years for killing two children. Incredible.

-2 ( +13 / -15 )

While her lawyer sought leniency, the Otsu District Court's Presiding Judge Naoki Onishi said her failure to pay attention to oncoming traffic should be considered seriously negligent.

The judge also said her pledge to never again drive a car was not sufficient reason to reduce the sentence.

Sorry, in my opinion, 4 1/2 years IS lenient as it is! Because of her negligence 2 young lives were snuffed out!

9 ( +18 / -9 )

Rest in Peace to the two poor little kids . This woman got off lightly, she should be in jail for 10 years.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Her failure to pay attention to oncoming traffic gets only 4.6 yrs causing a traffic accident that left two toddlers dead while the prosecutors said she has not sufficiently repented. This is UNBELIEVABLE.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

There is plenty of blame to go around here. The tragedy of young lives being lost is unmistakable but think about it. What barriers were in place to prevent the car from entering the pedestrian area? None. All nations are guilty of providing the thinnest margins of safety for the most vulnerable. Consider the double yellow line separating oncoming drivers on ordinary roads. These should be replaced with concrete barriers, just like on high speed freeways. I think the penalty for this woman is too severe considering the aforementioned. If you want to drive, contribute to others' safety first.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

4 and a half years sounds severe. This was an accident, right? Could happen to anybody. Every driver on the road has made a similar mistake, but it was just fate that the other car stopped in time, or that the result was a smaller accident with no injuries. In her case, it turned out in the worst possible way. But people want her to rot in prison for doing something they have all done themselves?

Not every tragic situation should be addressed by throwing someone in prison. Unless there is more to this story.

9 ( +19 / -10 )

Tom, you are trying to remove personal respnsibility from the equation. Without responsibilty there can not be any safety. If you can't handle responsibility don't get a drivers license would be the logical solution.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

If it was not intentional then what crime was committed? Prison is for dangerous and violent people. How many car accidents are there that could have killed people but by luck were spared? What if she had a heart attack or seizure? Would the doctors who treated her last be liable. Every accident could then be met with jail time. Living is dangerous. Stuff happens . Some have more skills, luck than others. It is an insane sentence and does what? Bring comfort to the parents? Done on purpose. A life sentence would be not enough.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Okay since since I am seeing a fair amount of disapproval for those that feel the sentencing was too lenient. Would these people care to share their opinion then?

Why is 4 1/2 years sufficient?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Her lawyer argued that the other vehicle's driver, who was not charged over the incident, was partially at fault.

Thats a bunch of BS. The woman who is going to jail crossed the center line and caused an accident. That results in 100% fault. Good ruling by the judge on this particular point.

CSRF is sexy!

1 ( +6 / -5 )

 Every driver on the road has made a similar mistake

Nope, i never.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Her lawyer argued that the other vehicle's driver, who was not charged over the incident, was partially at fault.

I guess he was partially at fault for existing.

If it was not intentional then what crime was committed? Prison is for dangerous and violent people.

Who said crimes had to be intentional? She killed two toddlers. She sounds pretty dangerous to me. Dangerously stupid.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Nope, i never.

You will when you get your first driver's license.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

If my negligence caused an accident that killed 2 young children I couldn't live with myself. How can she argue that 4 years is too much? I wouldn't even be able to wake up in the morning, the guilt alone would kill me. The nerve of that woman.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

The point of sentencing is not just punishment, but also deterrence. When drivers can slaughter children like this with their dangerous machines through careless driving, and get such low sentences, where is the deterrence?

People should be ultra-cautious about driving tonnes of fast-moving metal alongside pedestrians and cyclists. They literally have the power of life and death in their hands and yet most of the time they are hardly looking at what they are doing.

Better road design, better driver education, better technology would all help, but so would proper deterrence.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

People here need to go look at sentences for vehicular manslaughter in their own countries and you won't see much difference.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

DaDudeToday 09:55 am JST

People here need to go look at sentences for vehicular manslaughter in their own countries and you won't see much difference

The current maximum penalty in the UK for causing death by dangerous driving is 14 years in jail. The maximum penalty for careless or inconsiderate driving is five years in jail. You can be sent to jail for tailgating.

https://www.lawtonslaw.co.uk/resources/death-by-dangerous-driving-what-offence-could-you-be-charged-with/

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Lots of misandrists here who are downvoting those who think she got what she deserved/the sentence was too lenient.

I say, good on ya, judge! However, for slaughtering TWO innocent children, she should have gotten at least 10 years or more.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

People here need to go look at sentences for vehicular manslaughter in their own countries and you won't see much difference.

Even if that's true, it's because societies are far too lenient when people are killed by automobiles as opposed to other things that can also be deadly weapons when mishandled. They all need to re-evaluate this thinking.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

By Japan standards, this is quite a heavy sentence. By global standards, it's too lenient.

Apparently both lights were on green, so the other driver had right of way and can't have been much at fault. She was pushed offline into the kids and will have to live with that the rest of her life.

Given how many dead straight roads near me have crash barriers protecting paddy fields and zero pedestrians, it was very unsafe for Otsu to have no pedestrian protection there at a busy junction on a main road. That is the big mitigating factor here. An accident there should not have had these consequences.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The point of sentencing is not just punishment, but also deterrence. When drivers can slaughter children like this with their dangerous machines through careless driving, and get such low sentences, where is the deterrence?

Haha yes, sure. I’m sure everyone thinks “Eh, why be careful? Anything happens, I’ll just get a few years in jail! Big deal!”

Lots of misandrists here who are downvoting those who think she got what she deserved/the sentence was too lenient.

What a bizarre thing to say.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What barriers were in place to prevent the car from entering the pedestrian area? None.

Wrong, speed kills, driver inattentive kills. This accident root cause was all the driver who was and has been irresponsible and taking full action for her mistake that ended 2 toddlers lives. As for barrier, pay attention, slow down and follow the traffic laws like everyone else does. Take full responsibility for your own actions and quit putting blame or making fires where there is no smoke.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Her lawyer argued that the other vehicle's driver, who was not charged over the incident, was partially at fault.

I guess he was partially at fault for existing.

Har, darknuts. That's the way it works here. I was driving 40KMH when a car ignored a turn signal indicating yield to oncoming traffic, and I promptly smacked into him (low speed, no injuries). The court ruled it 60/40 in my favor - wha-? Apparently, I was expected to be sufficiently prescient to anticipate that this idiot would violate road rules.

Traffic courts, I learned, will almost never ascribe complete fault to a single individual.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

cheap.... parents better start private lawsuits

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Very sad story.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The point of sentencing is not just punishment, but also deterrence. When drivers can slaughter children like this with their dangerous machines through careless driving, and get such low sentences, where is the deterrence?

Wrong country! Japanese court sentences hardly make national news, although this one did, as a small blurb, nothing more.

There is no rhyme nor reason to many sentences handed down here, so in my opinion it's more about how many tears a person shows, and how far they bend and repeatedly apologize that matters!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"The outcome might have been different had the speed of the other vehicle been slower or if there was a fence at the site of the accident, but I think I'm the one to blame," while the prosecutors said she has not sufficiently repented."

Given that she's still trying to place the blame on the other driver and the road setup, it's entirely clear that she still believes she's not at fault.

Bear in mind she's been convicted of negligent driving. Negligent. She wasn't paying attention and she screwed up. It's not intentional, absolutely. But she made a mistake and a mother and two young children died because of it. This is why police forces in various places avoid using the word 'accident'- it implies no one is to blame. And this woman is to blame.

Punishment in such cases is measured against the damage done. If she'd just dinged the car, fine, light sentence. But unfortunately, because of her mistake three people are dead, and the punishment must reflect that. Whether she intended to cause harm is a consideration, and the punishment would be much higher if she did. Personally, I think four years is too low for the harm done.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Har, darknuts. That's the way it works here. I was driving 40KMH when a car ignored a turn signal indicating yield to oncoming traffic, and I promptly smacked into him (low speed, no injuries). The court ruled it 60/40 in my favor - wha-? Apparently, I was expected to be sufficiently prescient to anticipate that this idiot would violate road rules.

You went to court over this? Or you mean that was the decision of the insurance companies?

Crossing the center line results in 100% fault. If you have proof that you had a green light to go straight, you should have zero responsibility. You can likely overturn the decision - even if the CSRF comes up.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Good old Japan -- the life of a child worth about 2 years or so.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

It just seems to me that she is being scapegoated considering that the flagrantly reckless male drivers seem to get off much easier.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

that's barely a sentence at all

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I can't judge with the details given.

The bad driver said she puts some blzme on the other driver. What was it ?

Where the toddlers with seatbelts (adapted seats) ?

For me, repenting has nothing to do with the sentence one shall be given. All opposite in Japan. Jesus could walk free everytime he makes a crime...

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Before the sentencing, Shintate told the court, "The outcome might have been different had the speed of the other vehicle been slower or if there was a fence at the site of the accident, but I think I'm the one to blame," while the prosecutors said she has not sufficiently repented.

Ya think, lady? If you hadn't been negligent, the accident would not have happened. I agree with the prosecutors.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Nope, i never.

You will when you get your first driver's license

That's kinda funny. I drove in Thailand for 10 years without even killing a cat nor a dog.

And i have a gold driver licence japanese Mr.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

On the day of the accident, Police arrested both drivers. After an initial investigation, the driver of the on-coming (not turning) vehicle was released without charge. As other posters have already pointed out, blame is usually shared; i.e. 60/40 or 70/30. Therefore it does seem strange in this case that all of the fault was ascribed to one driver, when in fact her car did not strike the victims -- they were killed by the on-coming driver after she lost control.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

i can kinda see her point. though. yes, she initiated the accident, but other factors caused the death of the children. but anyway you look at it, it was a preventable tragedy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Therefore it does seem strange in this case that all of the fault was ascribed to one driver, when in fact her car did not strike the victims -- they were killed by the on-coming driver after she lost control.

How so? The woman in the opposite lane had right of way, and, more importantly, did not cause the accident. But for the driver turning into the oncoming traffic, would the accident have happened? Quite obviously, no. Your argument would onlys stand if the woman in the oncoming car was herself negligent (speeding would be an example).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Traffic courts, I learned, will almost never ascribe complete fault to a single individual.

So, in what way was your driving negligent? Or is negligence a foreign concept to Japanese courts?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Arguably too lenient, but she got a lighter sentence than a male truck driver did the other day: He charged through a crossing hitting a child. He then drove off. And (if I heard the news correctly) he was probably drunk.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Bugle Boy

*Thats a bunch of BS. The woman who is going to jail crossed the center line and caused an accident. That results in 100% fault. Good ruling by the judge on this particular point.*

Where in the article does it say anything about a center line? You should know that many streets in Japan are so narrow that there is no space to divide the street into two. Otsu is a small town with lots of narrow streets. It seems the woman lost concentration for a second, turned a corner, and found herself about to crash head on. The majority of traffic fatalities in Japan are pedestrians and cyclists, because the streets are so narrow. This ain't the good ol' US of F-ing A, boooy!

I don't understand how people can so lightly call for lengthy jail sentences. If some of the people on this site had any say in things, half of the Japanese population would be in jail by now, with most of the rest supervising them. There would be no rice fields, only prisons.

@savethegaijin

*If my negligence caused an accident that killed 2 young children *I couldn't live with myself. 

Among all the hysterical comments, you accidentally touch upon something important. Do you know anything about this woman? Is she a drug addict? Was she a driving drunk? "No" seems to be the answer. Drunk drivers don't go to jail, although they knowingly, recklessly endanger life. She's probably nice, decent person who had a momentary lapse of concentration. DON'T YOU THINK SHE WILL HAVE TROUBLE LIVING WITH HERSELF??? That's a huge punishment already, and that will be with her until the day she dies.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Does she keep her drivers license?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Here's a diagram of the accident.

https://www.sakigake.jp/images/news-entry/20190602ak0020_01_s.jpg

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@kohakuebisu

Thanks for the info. Clearly I was wrong with my "narrow streets" theory this time. She made a terrible mistake.

I still think a couple of years in jail would be probably enough, though. It was an accident. She wasn't drunk. Incompetent, certainly. But she WILL have to live with that the rest of her life. Unless we were there in the court room, I suppose we can't know for sure about what kind of a person she is. That would sway the judge, possibly. If she had a "This is all BS, let me go" attitude, that wouldn't be good. If she's like the vast majority of Japanese, and expressed her remorse (she did admit it was her fault, according to the article... in what tone of voice/how convincingly, is not clear), a couple of years would be enough, in my opinion.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ Dr Maybe

Nice to hear a bit of reasoned calm amongst all the shrieking....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Was she a driving drunk? "No" seems to be the answer. Drunk drivers don't go to jail, although they knowingly, recklessly endanger life.

What are you talking about? Drunk drivers go to jail all the time. Especially when they cause accidents.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Where in the article does it say anything about a center line? You should know that many streets in Japan are so narrow that there is no space to divide the street into two. Otsu is a small town with lots of narrow streets. It seems the woman lost concentration for a second, turned a corner, and found herself about to crash head on. The majority of traffic fatalities in Japan are pedestrians and cyclists, because the streets are so narrow. This ain't the good ol' US of F-ing A, boooy!

And thank goodness it ISN'T the USA!

I have included a link to an article that has a photo of the accident. The woman who caused the accident approached the intersection from the bottom of the photo, and turned right, crossing into on-coming traffic. That's where she was in the wrong. True there is no line where the accident happened, but crossing over the center line (or the center) is the problem. You can only do so if it is clear. It wasn't. 2 kids died. So she (the woman making the right turn) goes to jail.

https://www.sankei.com/west/news/190508/wst1905080015-n1.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@darknuts

Yes, of course...when they cause accidents. Sorry my sentence construction allowed you a chance to nit-pick. Obviously I meant a-holes who get plastered, weave all over the road late at night, but get picked up by the cops before they can kill anyone. Are we clear now?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If the kids were not at the road side, what would have been her sentence?

No injuries but a traffic offence... Probably 6 points on her licence and 60,000- 120,000 yen fine. Plus an increase in her insurance next year.

Same mistake, same accident but two dead and several quite badly injured pre schoolers?

I can’t help but feel a little sympathy for the driver. But, compare that to the parents?

4 years 6 months means just over 2 years in reality.... Just do the time and move on. The parents won’t have that luxury.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sentence is too soft. So is the ability for 'seniors' to hold on to their driving license (although this driver is not a senior). The governments really need to get seniors transported to where and when - they want to go. AI vehicles that are fully electric (hopefully solar- based) are what Japan needs. Japan is likely the only country that can prove it is successful. Go for it!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What an abomination. Four years for murdering two children. In a just system she’d get the death penalty or at the very least life in prison.

I hope that time passes very very slowly for her and that everyday is filled with pain and remorse.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Vince... She didn’t “murder” anyone... she is guilty of being a below par driver in a very freakish accident.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

In a just system she’d get the death penalty or at the very least life in prison.

In some folks' misogynistic system, possibly.

I hope that time passes very very slowly for her and that everyday is filled with pain and remorse.

Hardly surprising, as some here repeatedly call for women to suffer extreme pain and or death.

And it's always the same posters and always directed at Japanese women.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Was it a road accident or a planned murder? Did she hit a car by mistake or did she wanted to hit hit it on purpose of killing? If like the title says it was an accident, the sentence is crazy wrong!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am really sorry for the two young souls, but this was an accident! People who says 'punishment is not enough' are basically throwing hatred. I personally remember few times that I did some mistakes that could have ended up with in an accident. It didn't happen because I was able to control the vehicle on time or other party has responded early. I have seen many other drivers doing mistake but luckily recovered before an accident. There are blind spots, her boss might have been hard on her, she may had family problems that triggered her focus out for a moment. I am not saying Sentence was not enough or too harsh, but, remember it could be me, you or anyone.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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