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Many cars do not stop at crosswalks in Japan, although they are required by law to do so. Why do you think that drivers don't stop?

40 Comments

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40 Comments
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Because they are idiots!

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Because they don't care.Sometimes you've got to cut in to get across, because they won't stop as they should.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Maybe because cops are never around to do their jobs?

No chance of ever being stopped by the fuzz unless you're riding double on a bicycle.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Because the japanese are so deathly obsessed with time they can’t stand to wait 2 seconds for someone to cross

4 ( +12 / -8 )

My son is in elementary school, and he was taught at school to lift his arm before he crosses the crosswalk, so that the drivers can recognize that there is a kid who wants to cross the street.

But even so, many of these idiotic drivers don't stop.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

because I've seen cop cars that don't stop. If the cops don't stop, why would the general public?

2 ( +8 / -6 )

I make them stop by taking a step out.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

I do the same Zichi, even at night. Have had some near misses however, so I raise my hand now.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Many cars stop for me even when not on a crossing. The other day the driver of a 20-ton truck stopped allowing us to cross a busy road.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Driving habits here are generally abysmal. This is just another one of them

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Power

4 ( +7 / -3 )

It’s cultural. The general rule of thumb is ‘I’m more important than you, stranger.’ If the pedestrian were my neighbor, relative, or co-worker, the drivers would stop.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Japanese drivers are bad in general, little consideration for others. Even walking around people just ignore each other, even when they bump into each other.

I know the culture has developed around a high population density but cars require more awareness of your surroundings

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Because traffic laws are never enforced until after an accident.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

@borscht I think you've hit on something there. I believe it's cultural, too, but I think the notion of status also plays into it.

I have noticed that a high percentage of those inconsiderate, entitled drivers are men of a certain age who would have grown up at a time when simply having a car gave one a sort of "big shot" status. I also see this sort of attitude in people who drive for a living.

This is reinforced by Japanese pedestrians' tendency to defer to drivers, even when they have the right of way. Power, even this petty version of it, seems to be almost unconsciously regarded as inherently legitimate.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Because there's this idea that a car always has the right of way for some reason, and every driver of a car has the right of way over another driver of another car.

Then there is the characteristic that many of our fellow citizens cannot anticipate a situation and react spontaneously. For example, I see a pedestrian running towards a crosswalk at the last minute and maybe he doesn't make it, so he runs even faster. He risks running into the crossing when his light turns red. And the car driver doesn't realise the consequences of that and continues driving (despite the runner is violating the rule).

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Because the car is on Autopilot, the driver is asleep or otherwise engaged, and the AI system just isn't good enough to detect crosswalks or the pedestrians who was just run over inside of them?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Uchi/Soto, as borscht implies. If you're not acquainted or connected, you simply don't matter.

This impersonalises what for many of us is inherently - if fleetingly - personal: responsibility for another's safety.

Stay safe out there, everyone.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

A lot of pedestrians seem to have adopted the strategy of "If I don't look, then it's YOUR responsibility to avoid me." This plays out on sidewalks as well, with the smartphone zombies and those who just stare at their toes.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I think it's not only the drivers, but the people themselves. I can't remember how many times I've bumped shoulders with phone zombies and have had close calls with cyclists who ride Road Warrior-style and just pass inches away from you. Don't even get me started on car drivers. I agree with enolagay, it seems that the people move like ants on a march when commuting, why not just wake up a few minutes earlier so you don't have to hustle? I've also seen kids raising their hands when they cross the street, I prefer to carry a flashlight at night and just wave it at cars when crossing.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Because cops don't stop people for doing dumb stuff? I've seen people driving and holding newborns at the same time twice. Passenger mom sitting both in the front and back seats holding their babies. Kids under the age of 12 holding babies in the passenger seat while mom driving. Lots of people not wearing seatbelts and the only time I see cops checking on that one is this one day of the year when they have a safety campaign.

Got hit and run twice while I was on bike when drivers didn't stop at the Stop sign. First time had to walk myself to the hospital with blood all over my face and later on, the police scolded me for not calling them to the scene before me seeking medical help. And the second time I was fine but at the koban, they put way more effort on finger printing me than checking for the plate number.

And related to drivers in Japan, why are they allowed to fill their dashboard with plush toys and figurines, and putting curtains on the side windows? I've always thought that these should be sooooo illegal since they blocks the drivers view.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

It's because there are crosswalks everywhere and if

we had to stop at each and every one the traffic would

be worse than now!!

-15 ( +0 / -15 )

It's because there are crosswalks everywhere and if

we had to stop at each and every one the traffic would

be worse than now!!

It works in countries like UK.

I just put this down to selfishness, and utter disregard for life.

That's another reason why I cross the road even when there is no crosswalks - their presence makes no difference.

And don't get me started on crosswalks which have pedestrian lights.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

It's the fault of the lawmakers. There are many traffic laws that nobody follows, even police, and this creates disrespect for laws. In some cases, the laws are ignored because they are absurdly restrictive, like 50kph speed limits on motorways. This trains drivers to ignore traffic laws when they are inconvenient.

They should pass reasonable laws, and then enforce those laws.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Drivers in Japan don't even stop for an ambulance with sirens blaring that is clearly in the middle of tending to an emergency because god forbid they have to stop for 30 seconds when someone's life could be in the balance so do you think they care about stopping at a crosswalk???

0 ( +6 / -6 )

I find that cars turning onto or of the side roads nearly always stop for pedestrians to cross in front regardless of a crossing being there or not. The main road outside my office is a different story… only buses stop every time, and even while buses are stopped the traffic from the other direction continues. I’ve taken to raising my hand recently as well.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

People hate waiting.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It's because they don't

a)see

b)know

c)care

In Italy,drivers only stop for nuns.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

What a dumb question. MOST cars DO stop. Some do not and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the reason is the same as in most other countries, the drivers' don't notice or care or are in a rush or don't see any cops around, etc etc.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Cars stop at a rail crossing, but not a people crossing !!!!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Most need to be repainted with bright colors as well as signs from both directions placed. And at night or when raining not visible.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

They should do like what we have in the States, more speed bumps. When I was a teenager in California and then later in Texas we had speed bumps around the schools and throughout our neighborhoods, that would greatly reduce people with lead feet’s, obviously the J-Police are not or will not crackdown on these people, so the best solution, build more speed bumps and that will drastically eliminate the problem unless they want to destroy the bottom of their cars.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Because they usually are not paying attention.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What a dumb question. MOST cars DO stop. 

Oh they absolutely do not. I have lost count of the times I have stopped for a pedestrian at a crossing and had to wait for ALL of the cars going in the opposite direction to pass before the pedestrian could actually cross.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

zenji:

Cars stop at a rail crossing

Well, I'd love to see them do otherwise.

Ricky:

What a dumb question. MOST cars DO stop.

I don't know what blind idiot said that, but I have to agree with you, as someone who actually lives in Japan - most drivers do NOT stop. This isn't the UK.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I make them stop by taking a step out

I tried that in my neighborhood recently and it didn't work. It was a delivery van whose driver decided to plow right through the marked crossing. I glowered at him as he approached at full speed -- and he glowered right back at me, like I was the problem.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Because people stand at the crossing yacking to each other or standing there looking at their phones,

Anyway, it is safer if people wait till the road is clear before they blindly cross. In western countries we are taught to look right, look left, look right before crossing. I presume we are talking about crossings not controlled by lights.

I drive every day and people walk along the road instead of the foot path all the time and run across the road where there is no crossing. Next subject- people on bikes. In my opinion, Japanese drivers overall are very good.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

At striped crosswalks, some stop, most don't.

As a cyclist or pedestrian, you have to watch carefully before crossing,

if they slow down to stop, fine, but if not wait till it's car-free.

Don't depend on drivers to stop.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I’m surprised at the speed they are at when there is a crosswalk. It’s as if they are just ignoring it. I am halfway across and there is a car coming rapidly towards me. The police don’t care. They seem to be more concerned with enforcing the law on cyclists.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I can be standing at the edge of the sidewalk looking across the road, no crossing in sight and cars will stop for me. Maybe I look like i'm about to commit insurance fraud? I dunno...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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