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A kindergarten minibus lays on its side after colliding with a traffic sign on Tuesday in Yao City, Osaka Prefecture. Image: KYODO

8 injured after kindergarten bus veers onto sidewalk


Eight people, including six kindergarten children, were injured Tuesday when the minibus they were in veered off the street onto a sidewalk in Yao, Osaka Prefecture. 

Police said the eight — the 65-year-old bus driver, an adult woman and the six children from Hoshi no Hikari kindergarten — were taken to hospital but none were seriously injured, Fuji TV reported. Nobody on the sidewalk was hurt, police said.

The accident occurred at around 8 a.m. Witnesses said the bus jumped the curb and came to rest on shrubbery lining the sidewalk. 

Police are questioning the driver over how he lost control of the bus.

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Do kids on such buses wear seatbelts?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

jcapan: No. That would be safe, but inconvenient. Can't have it.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

I always see these kindergarten buses with 20 or so little kids bouncing around with no seat belts. I only know of two kindergartens who make children wear seat belts in their bus. One is owned by an Australian, the other by an American. This could quite easily have ended in a multiple death tragedy wake up Japan! Seat belts save lives! It's a proven fact!

9 ( +14 / -5 )

the 65-year-old bus driver, an adult woman and the six children from Hoshi no Hikari kindergarten — were taken to hospital but none were seriously injured,

Well, thank god for that.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Please put the kids in seat belts, they dont do this on these buses!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I have never seen any of these buses driving very fast, so I'm surprised this kind of thing can happen. Did he fall asleep? Health issue?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

65 year old school bus driver? C'mon man bounds of reason PLEASE!

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

65 year old school bus driver? C'mon man bounds of reason PLEASE!

Please excuse my confusion regarding this but there seems to be a some bias against elderly people on this site. Is 65 considered over the hill or something?

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Yes, if they had worn seat belts, the injuries could have been prevented or lessened. Above all, it was very lucky that no one was killed this time.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

My job is to design the English program for kindergartens and preschools.

I was in a shuttle bus about a year back, and was shocked that none of the children were wearing a seatbelt.

When I told the principal, I was told that it is dangerous for children that age to wear it and they deliberately do not apply seat belts. The ages of the children in the bus were 4-6 years old.

I told them that logic was nonsense, but since it was AGREED upon in Osaka City teacher seminars and meetings, it is policy.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

@thepersoniamnow - I told them that logic was nonsense

It's not nonsense! It's Japansense! They are very similar but the latter lacks commonsense.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )


I will admit, when I returned back to Japan about 15 years ago and was 18 years old I thought similarly to you.

Now I am able to better analyze a situation, without for example, calling an entire nation stupid, as that would just show what I am lacking in character and maturity.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I discovered this thing called a "search engine" about 22 years ago. If you use it, you can learn things like only a few states in the US require set belts on school busses. And that hundreds of kids are not killed every year, but only about 5 people are killed in school bus accidents.

Remarkably, almos all of the people killed were pedestrians and people in other cars involved in the accident.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

UK is considering raising the retirement age to 70... It's inevitable that older drivers will be on the Road, they have the right to make a living no ? It may be appropriate that after a certain age, more regular free checkups are provided and corrective action taken.

As for the accident, that's every Parent's worse nightmare, to receive a call saying your Kid is in Hospital following a School Accident. Hope they all make a fast recovery.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Disillusioned is probably totally right on the kiddos bouncing around with no seat belts.

If I were a parent I would make a formal complaint about this.

I was informed by a principal and the head teachers of several schools (who are very influential in implementing day to day policy) that in the meetings held in Osaka and attended by schools, it was considered a rule that preschool aged children DO NOT wear seat belts.

They told me it was more dangerous for low speed accidents.

I think that it also has to be taken in context, as it was explained in context to me.

A typical bus has a flat wide seat with an optional seat rest. This divider is also pulled up by rule in kindergartens.

Now since these very little children can easily slip under, or be made to flip over (by their own low weight and mass) when a large vehicle like a train or bus is their mode of transport.

Now I do see what they mean, but it's just not right to me to have the solution as nothing at all. If the bus had to slam on the brakes on the expressway that we were traveling on, I swear all these precious adorable 4-6 year olds would have flown off their seat and slammed into what was in front of them.

It can't be the solution and it horrified me to be hearing it from principals.

The ironic thing was that they also saw the folly in it, but they did it anyways, as they have to.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

the 65-year-old bus driver, an adult woman...

Police are questioning the driver over how he lost control of the bus.

I have been waiting for this happen, luckily no children died in that which I was waiting to happen but now that it has --insane that we've had to wait for it to do so-- NOW seat belts will be, OMG: ’totemo daiji na koto desu. Anzen no tame ni!"

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

sad incident!

sorry for the kids and the people who are injured.

may God help them to overcome this situation.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I find it interesting that children need to be in car seats at that age BY LAW in most G7 countries but in Japan on school buses there is no law. I NEVER see children sitting properly in their seats whether in a school bus or private vehicle.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I can at least say that in the USA in the vast majority of states that don't require seat belts on school buses is for the below reasons:

1. School Buses are built like tanks, they are arguably the safest vehicle on the road if they get into crash with another vehicle. 2. If it is required, either in a crash, roll over, fire, etc that the occupants of the bus have to evacuate, especially in the case the occupants are young children that have to unbuckle to get out while they are panicking, is not seen as practical as will not be able to in the moment focus and unbuckle themselves while they are panicking/scared from the incident and thus the driver would have to go to each seat and unbuckle each child individually. In an emergency this is seen as taking too much time and would in fact in the end result in more children dying, especially in a fire.
2 ( +2 / -0 )

Putting aside which countries have seat belts for buses that carry children,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In my area only private kindergarten /schools and special needs schools use buses.

Getting a bunch of 2-6yrs old to sit quietly is like trying to herd cats.

Usually 1 driver and 1-2 teachers on them

1 ( +1 / -0 )

you don't need a special licence to drive these kindergarten buses. this needs to change. all drivers should need a special certificate after completing a course. over 68 should have a yearly test.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Just had a look around the J press for more detail on this, (so go easy on the minus points today), but it seems that the driver was acting strangely and had already ignored a couple of places where he should have slowed or stopped, and he went straight on where he should have turned right. As they came towards the zebra crossing, the bus started to veer right into oncoming traffic. The lady in charge of the kids admits that she then grabbed the steering wheel and yanked it hard left.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

nandakandamanda's comment is correct.

The news I saw said the driver became semi-conscious (he later said he had no memory of the incident) and to avert a head on collision, the smart thinking teacher grabbed the wheel and swerved the bus into the safest obstacle - the roadside hedge.

Smart alert mind probably saved lives.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A Heart attack, Stroke, or whatever can effect people of all ages. So having another capable adult present at the front of the bus now appears to make mandatory sense. Call them a Co-Pilot/Co-Driver...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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