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10-year-old girl in hospital after being hit by police car in Ibaraki

31 Comments

A 10-year-old girl suffered a broken leg after she was hit by a police car on patrol in Kasumigaura City, Ibaraki Prefecture, on Monday.

Anna Ogura, a fourth-grade elementary school student, was playing at a friend's house when she came out onto the road from the garden and was hit by a police car approaching from the right. Ogura was rushed to hospital and is in a stable condition, but her left leg was broken in the accident.

Yosuke Sakurai, a 31-year-old officer based at Tsuchiura police station, was patrolling the neighborhood by himself when the accident occurred just after 1.30 p.m. He told officers that he was traveling at a low speed but didn't notice the girl until it was too late.

Police said the accident occurred on a road 3.2 meters wide which curved to the left, and there were no traffic lights or pedestrian crossings in the area.

© News reports

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31 Comments
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OMG! who's to be blamed?

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I hope he gets punished in the same manner that any other person would.

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The thing is he shouldn't be punished, he didn't do anything wrong. Is it his fault the kid ran out into the street? Same thing with people riding bicycles here that don't follow the rules of traffic like other vehicle drivers.

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The policeman should be charged like anyone else. Same for every one.

I don't blame the cop anyways.

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Cops are supposed to have their eyes peeled and their senses sharp. That's why they're called "patrol cars." For a normal person, this is forgivable, but not for a cop who is supposed to be a trained professional. Of course this guy was probably busy looking at balconies for panties to swipe.

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Jees have you seen the kids in this country?! They are usually unsupervised, and i personally have had numerous kids just RUN out on the road in front of me, or pull out on their bikes (usually without helmets.)

bamboohat - of course they are supposed to have "eyes peeled and senses sharp" but cops are not robots - they are humans too and if a kid ran out in front of the car what can he do really? It doesnt matter how slow he was going, its still inevitable she would get hit.

I say a slap on the wrist for him, and a book on the highway code for her - shes in hospital for the next week or so at LEAST, so shell have lots of time to read about the safe way to cross roads - ie look for cars first.

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In this case its clearly the girls fault but the cop will, shud get the blame because the thinking is with speed limits set as they are ANY driver under ANY situation if obeying the law shud be able to stop in time in ANY circumstance!!!

Of the above is pure BS but that is how it "works".

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For a normal person, this is forgivable, but not for a cop who is supposed to be a trained professional.

Why is this so? I can't believe I'm here sticking up for a Japanese policeman, but right is right no matter who it is. If you drive here you know the abject stupidity of the people on the roads, and I mean everybody from car drivers to pedestrians - there has to be some personal responsibility from pedestrians and bicycle riders. It's too bad the girl got hurt but it's the responsibility of parents to teach rtheir kids not to run out into the street. Bamboohat, you are an American/foreigner, are you not? What's the first thing you were taught as a youngster playing outside?

My wife is Japanese, almost got herself killed on base by riding her bicycle through a stop sign right into the path of a vehicle going through the intersection, this despite being hit by a vehicle on a Japanese road previously. Both of her kids have been hit by cars while riding bikes on Japanese roadways when they were children. I had to sit her down and explain the rules of the road apply to her also, and that the driver was not at fault but she was. In a short time we will be moving to the US, I really worry that she is going to get hit by a car.

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She's lucky she has only a broken leg. She'll survive, and most likely, prosper. The cop, of course, will be blamed for the accident, even though most likely no one could have avoided hitting the girl as she darted into the street. That's the risk you take when driving a motor vehicle.

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The point is that the law here put 100% blame on the driver in all situations. It's ludicrous as it absolves peds of any responsibility for their own actions. As a driver in Japan, its the scariest thing, in my opinion. I don't worry about being hit by another car whilst in my car, but I do about some idiot who rushes into the road. You can end up in jail here if you hit somebody who jumps out in front of you, and subsequently dies. Madness. The law needs to acknowledge the fact that drivers are human beings too and, in some circumstances, cannot be blamed completely, all of the time.

So the law as it stands means Mr Plod is to blame.

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Where's the charges of "Professional Negligence" as they always do to anyone involved in a car accident in Japan!

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I think the question is should be cops be treated as any other human in this situation or should they be held up to some higher standard. Since this guy probably won't be charged as another person would be it suggests that they are somehow above the law and better than the average Joe. Therefore we also have the right to expect more from officers of the law and this guy should have been more careful and more aware than civilian drivers.

My dog was run over by police and I can't help feeling that some cops think they are Gods and don't have to follow the rules like everyone else.

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As a driver in Japan, its the scariest thing, in my opinion. I don't worry about being hit by another car whilst in my car, but I do about some idiot who rushes into the road.

True! I don't feel like any amount of careful driving can defend against some of the blind corners and careless kids and or bicyclists!

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My hate for cops is well known but I also in this case must say poor guy. He supported a law system that will now screw his life. The law does need to change here...

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DGirl

We dont know if this driver will get any special treatment, part of me hopes he does & the laws change, but I know the law wont so he shud get nailed same as any of us who drive wud be in a similar situation.

I to fear the stupidity of peds etc while driving, drivers here also have many bad habits that seem prevalent everywhere, tailgating, red light running & pulling the same stunts they do in their video games(I have seen many incredibaly dangerous stunts that defy description).

I need to drive & my wife got her license late in life & its always a fear something will happen due to her lack of experience but thankfully she is getting better.

A great many lives & families are ruined through absolutely no fault of their own due to peds etc who dont watch what/where they are going, it is scary out there be careful EVERYONE!

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bamboohat:

" For a normal person, this is forgivable, but not for a cop who is supposed to be a trained professional. "

In the event, the opposite will happen. For a normal person, there is no excuse in this situation here, while the system will find an excuse for the cop.

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Not at all the guy's fault, it seems. The girl will survive this incident, and that's the most important thing.

Still, the posters above are right -- in cases like this the driver takes 100% blame if the vehicle was moving, so it'll be an interesting case. My guess is the police will just pay a bunch of compensation money along with the medical bills to avoid a court procedure, and the girl's family will go for it.

If there's one point in this whole story that COULD be improved on it's that perhaps a cop car shouldn't be patrolling on such a narrow street at all -- this would be perfect for this rickety old bikes they always ride around on with the black boxes on the back... or on foot.

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Obviously wasn't looking charge the policeman!

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Patrolling police cars usually run at a low speed. If the girl while rushing bumped into the car shoga nai yooooooo....Hope speedy recovery fo the girl.

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Bad for girl and bad for this policeman, it shows very poor road culture, by the way I was always wondering why Japanese drive bicycles without helmet.

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It is not the girls fault, nor the Cops Fault.

What I would like to know is where were the parents, and how can they raise their kid go running onto the road like that?

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Weird that her left leg was broken when she was hit from the right. I had an old guy open his door just as I passed by him on a narrow street.He obviously had not looked behind him at all before opening the door.The Police were called as he was injured a bit and his car door badly damaged. They initially blamed me and he was asking for compensation but I told them it was ridiculous and they gave up. I have driven over 100,000 km here and can safely say that the general road sense of the whole population especially pedestrians and cyclists borders on idiotic.It is stressful driving here.I hope the cop gets off lightly. I think the crazy road rules are an example of refusal to change anything.They probably date back to the days before cars

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My hate for cops is well known but I also in this case must say poor guy. He supported a law system that will now screw his life. The law does need to change here...

To be completely honest, I don't think he should be charged either.. That said, Japan needs to really think about doing away with STUPID laws, which make everyone a criminal who's involved in any type of car accident...

They need to Charge him because, it's in keeping with the law, and the way it is enforced in Japan... If they choose not to charge him, then they need to drop all the other cases, where a driver him someone, and it didn't involve any type of illegal behavior or action... I think there was just a real heated debate here a month ago, about some old guy, accidentally hitting some kids, no deaths or serious injury involved, but he was arrested on the spot... This kind of "arbitrary" enforcement of the law, needs to come to a halt... If you let him go, you cannot turn-around and charge somebody else for the same kind of incident...

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People just drive too fast on these narrow windy little goat tracks weaving their way through suburbia with no hint of a sidewalk. The speed limit is 30k but in many places even 20k is to fast, not that anyone pays attention to the speed limits. They are only guidelines, right? It is likely the kid did run onto the street cos that's what kids do, but if the cop was traveling at 20k or less he probably could have stopped. I always drive at 10k under the speed limit. It pisses off many drivers too. But, I know if a kid runs in front of me I will have a better chance of stopping at 20kph than 30kph. - Could you ever get over killing a kid with your car?

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mindovermatter: Well said. Car accidents are generally just that--accidents. In the cases where it can be proved that the driver was negligent, he/she should be charged appropriately. But otherwise the driver shouldn't be held responsible. There are just as many careless pedestrians and cyclists as there are drivers. If children are involved, then they must investigate very carefully.

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I think it's not anyone's fault. Only parents. Parents should know how to lookafter their children or atleast tell their children to be careful enough with vehicles specially people who live beside the roads. Police officer just drive on his duty.Simple advice is better than writing a book of report.child is alive. Let the police officer too have a peace of mind together with his family to continue his job with much love.

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As a daily bicycle rider here in Japan, I have often felt that the roads here are simply not big enough for the number of commuters attempting to use them. Of course, being a country with a high population and little land, this is to be expected. And while it is a hassle to pull to the side of the road to wait as a car or two attempt to pass by, as long as the people in the cars and I, on my bicycle, are paying attention, there should be no accidents. But I have almost daily had to maneuver out of the way of a car pulling out of a tiny side street without looking for pedestrians first. All to often, they decided to drive quickly down the house-laden streets or pull out onto the roads without having the slightest consideration for pedestrians and cyclists. In a country so heavily populated with pedestrians, such as children on their way to and from school, it surprises me that more people don't look both ways before stepping on the accelerator. I, myself, have even been hit by a motorist who clearly wasn't looking out for anyone crossing on the pedestrian walkway (where I was crossing). But until roads are widened or care is taken to increase the visualization around corners and near side roads, there will continue to be a large number of pedestrian accidents. I just wish the kids and elderly weren't always the ones getting hurt out there. ;_; (And I know this isn't a problem just in Japan, but thinking of one of my students getting hit makes me wish things could be safer for them here.)

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I believe this was a plain accident. Both doing what they normally do.

The cop will probably be charged with a minor offense due to the fact that he was in a vehicle but it should be nothing serious.

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This is the child's fault because the first rule is look BOTH ways before entering a street. That said, how many of you have seen perfectly well-behaved children lose all sense of safety while playing. Children dashing out from between parked cars and into the path of oncoming cars is a problem worldwide.

The child is lucky she only has a broken leg to contend with, as things could have been MUCH worse.

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This is one of my biggest fears in Japan - being arrested for someone else's stupid mistake. I can't tell you how many times I have come close to hitting someone in my car. I agree that drivers go too fast in the narrow streets in residential areas; then they go very slowly on the highways. My biggest pet peeve are bicyclists. I wish I had 100 yen for everytime that I made a turn through what I saw as an empty crosswalk only to have a bicycle rider zip right in front of me. Bicycle riders are NOT pedestrians - if they want to use a pedestrian crosswalk they should dismount and walk their bikes through.

Mindovermatter - don't think that Japan will change the law anytime soon, and even if they did I don't think they would enforce it.

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Accidents happen. nobody is to blame here. Thankfully the girl escapes with only a broken leg.

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