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7 killed as bus on way to Tokyo Disneyland crashes in Gunma

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© 2012 AFP

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Very sad accident, RIP to the 7 who died, and I hope that the others recover quickly, both physically and mentally. Am I the only one that thinks there should have been a guard rail in front of the sound barrier wall, to prevent a fast moving vehicle from being cut in two? If there had been one, there would have still been an accident, but the bus wouldn't have been sliced in two, and perhaps there wouldn't have been any deaths. The news hasn't said anything about this, but I think they really should rethink the design.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Now the talking heads on TV are suggesting a "safe bus" label for bus companies that have backup drivers. Wtf? Just limit the number of continuous nighttime driving hours per driver, and stick to that rule. And make it clear to the drivers, that if they get tired, put in a rest and screw the time schedule.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

*typo: I meant 'wasn't ANY children' instead of using '&'.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This story just breaks my heart. Such carelessness from the company for not having a relief driver. I know this might sound harsh or insensitive & I apologize if I offend anyone but I am glad there wasn't & children who lost their lives in this accident.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Read in the jnews that the company was really close to being in debt. I have gone all over Japan on night buses and have never been on a bus that had no relief driver. This paricular company was selling 3,000 yen tickets. Cost cutting has taken lives again.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Whatever the transport ministry regulation is, and even if the driver had 3 days off before the trip, driving alone hundreds of kilometers in the night from 10 pm to next morning is a high risk adventure, especially on a highway where in the dark night the driver has to focus on the painted white broken line in the headlight more intensively that will throw him into short 3-5 seconds hypnosis at least 80 times all in the night . At around 5 am comes the most critical period for driving as the human body gets the most tired and sleepy especially at dawn.

Stuff the ministry and their regulations, it is irresponsible to let one man to do that driving all the night alone. It normally needs hundreds of people to die until the ministry will change the regulation to something better that makes sense.

Instead, employers should use their common sense. Drivers and employees in general not allowed to use their common sense unless they wanna lose their job. A bus drive cannot tell his employer, " this is dangerous I am not sure I can make it safe" . Then he can look for a new job and will get the same there, too.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Billyshears:

Seatbelts don´t protect you from being shredded by a steel barrier that virtually slices through the bus, as happened in this case. The driver survived because he was on right of the steel barrier, while the dead people were in its way.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

RIP to those 7...such a tragic way to go :(

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe one reason the driver survived is that he would have been wearing his seat belt, but when I've been on these long-distance buses, I've never seen any passengers fasten them up (apart from myself).

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

How horrible :(

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hope Kanazawa families are having some peace after this tragedy. My respects from a Mexican that lived in that beautiful town for 6 months.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry, no sympathy for the driver at all! Tired or not, he has the responsibility of 48 lives when driving a bus. If he was tired he should have stopped and got a relief driver. My uncle drove Pioneer coaches in Oz for many years and drivers were not allowed to drive for more than four hours straight. There was always a relief driver either on the coach or waiting at a rest stop. Of course, the driver will be and should be charged, but the bus company should also be brought up on charges. I know this kind of accident doesn't happen often, but I think once is enough, don't you?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

naruhodo1APR. 29, 2012 - 08:20PM JST How do people die on a bus? Even if it flipped over, which it didn't. And the kicker, 95% of the dead were in their 20's. U would think their bodies would be best equipped to handle an accident best. So sad.

Brakes were supposedly not applied, bus sliced through 10m (or maybe that's the other way around) of guard rail and practically split in two. I don't think a body could be equipped to handle that, no matter the age.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

As much as I sympathize with the victims I'm also feeling sorry for the driver who's children & wife will lose the breadwinner...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Reaperinc:

" miracle that the guy survived and is capable to shed light on what happened. "

I agree on the miracle, but I am not holding breath for a great revelation. It is pretty safe to assume the driver was tired after 6 hours at the wheel at night and fell asleep. There should be strict working rules for bus driviers, but instead we probably find that the bus company puts pressure on them to meet the schedule no matter what.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I wonder if they have mandatory rest periods for bus drivers, and if these are followed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Too many tragic traffic accidents happening recently. May the families find comfort during their trying times for those who died of got injured, and even those who have been traumatized by the accident.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"The Happiest Place on Earth"???????

I've been away from Japan for too long......I opened this thread dreading reading about more innocent children being taken far too young.

Is it wrong that I'm relieved that no six year olds were in the death toll?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Gunma to Tokyo is less than 3 hours with frequent stops at designated in the schedule. Especially at night !!!! FAR LESS TRAFFIC Night bus ???

JR bus is TOP NOTCH . I recommend it for anybody that wants to travel on a budget. japan today never does stories abut JR bus or any travel worthy stories.

Did the bus driver had numerous shifts that day ? Brake failure ? Mechanical failure ?

To early to report anything. Have to wait for an investigation to determine the cause.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

more facts: 670km is the limit for a one driver bus trip. This trip was less than 670km. it met the legal requirements. The driver had 3 days off before this trip - he should have been well rested. Cant see the bus company getting in too much trouble, the driver it seems is going to take it all on the chin. Perhaps the law will change, but will the lower and middle class patrons of all these night buses be happy with the increased cost of night buses if more drivers are required? Tragic circumstances, but there are tens of thousands of such trips made yearly and one accident while tragic doesn't necessarily mean big changes are needed.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Local media have reported that the driver told police he dozed off just before the accident.

Unbelievable... Here's a good reason to arrest the driver... I don't know how many accidents you read about here in Japan, where the very first sentence is "Police Arrested the Driver" and so far, the only ones I can recall in recent history (although there may be others) is some 75 year old guy, who accidentally stepped on the gas instead of the brake, didn't fall asleep, and wasn't under the influence of drugs / alcohol, but just made a mistake, and those J-Cops had him arrested before the ambulance even arrived...

Now J-Cops, I hope you are listening, If you want to arrest somebody for "Professional Negligence" here is the PERFECT Reason...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Most surprising thing here is that the driver survived and is able to answer questions. The entire front of the bus has been reduced to dust, miracle that the guy survived and is capable to shed light on what happened.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

How do people die on a bus? Even if it flipped over, which it didn't. And the kicker, 95% of the dead were in their 20's. U would think their bodies would be best equipped to handle an accident best. So sad.

-12 ( +0 / -11 )

I thought the scary rides were inside the park. Tragic, put 46 lives on the line to save a few yen.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

HORRIFIC! RIP to the poor victims.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Tragic. Falling asleep at the wheel? Not unheard of. Why was there no relief driver? Should be mandatory for night buses.

So how many does that make in this month alone?? Road safety really, really needs to be under review here.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

So many fatal traffic accidents recently. RIP.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

So tragic. RIP to the victims.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Oh wow... another driver dozed off ending in a tragedy. Japan really needs to stop overworking their employers.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

the first day of Japan’s Golden Week spring holiday season, local media reported.

very sad, eight days of GW holiday still left.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

amendment.....Will give order to their HR to find better and younger drivers

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Again, as usual stingy employers saved on the relief driver and lost a bus, will pay tremendous compensation to the family of the deceased and next time will do the same and change nothing.

Will give order to their HR find better and younger employer drivers for lower salary to bring back the loss. The HR will ask more stupid questions and employ the biggest liar, "boku wa itsumo gambarimasu" and after the next accident they will say the wouldn't step down out of worry that the company will get in the hands of irresponsible executives.

The law will not deliver any punishments and things will go on like that until the family of the victims take the law into their hands and beat them up for good. Then comes the "shikata ga nai' and will provide relief drivers.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

wow.. tragic.. irresponsible driver and shame on the company for not having a relief driver in place knowing this is a night bus. !"#$%.

1 ( +2 / -2 )

Other media reports that the driver admitted he'd dozed off. Wonder what sort of breaks these drivers have on these long runs? Even my car navi tells me to take a safety break every two hours. And safety belts on buses?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

horrific, what this basic report doesn't say is that it was at 4AM in the morning, Night bus - odds on the driver nodded off and with tragic consequences. One more reason to avoid the horrible experience that is the night bus.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

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