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Bus driver dozed off before crash, police reveal

14 Comments

The driver of a bus that crashed into a traffic light pole in Tokyo's Ota Ward, injuring 17 passengers, dozed off just before the accident, police revealed Sunday.

The accident occurred just after 3 p.m. on Friday. The Tokyu bus, driven by Junji Yamada, 56, hit a traffic light pole. Seventeen passengers suffered minor injuries.

Police said that a video camera installed on the bus showed Yamada appear to doze off seconds before the accident, TBS reported.

Yamada was quoted by police as saying he felt drowsy just for a second or two.

Police said they are checking the bus company's records for records on drivers' shifts and how many hours Yamada had worked on the day of the accident without a break.

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14 Comments
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Check his blood alcohol level while you are at it!

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Tokyu Bus drivers have their breath alcohol checked every time they go on shift, rare for one of them to have/cause a problem, they are usually very professional.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Harry, how do you know that?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Heater on the bus was probably turned right up ( same as the trains and department stores ) making him warm n cosy and then drowsy

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Tokyu Bus drivers have their breath alcohol checked every time they go on shift, rare for one of them to have/cause a problem, they are usually very professional.

Unless you actually work there I highly doubt what you say. There have been numerous cases of where drivers are supposedly checked prior to work and yet are caught for driving under the influence.

Yes many if not most are fine, but getting drowsy on a shift with passengers on the bus is NOT professional in the least. Oh and BTW I have a bus license and have driven them before as well, so dont come and try and tell me I dont know what I am talking about.

If you have people in or under your care you NEVER drowse off NEVER. He was negligent and SHOULD be checked for alcohol or any other substances!

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Yubaru: "He was negligent and SHOULD be checked for alcohol or any other substances!"

Of course he should be checked, but why all the sudden insistence that it was alcohol related? In this nation time and again we've heard of accidents involving people who were overworked or volunteered to take on double shifts with little or no down time. The situation is so bad, in fact, that laws were ramped up just a couple of years back to deal with this after yet ANOTHER accident where a man who was overworked fell asleep at the wheel. So many of these companies fail to follow the laws and don't disallow drivers to work if they have not had sufficient time off. Why do you think at the end of the article it's mentioned that police are checking the company's logs on how many hours Yamada had worked?

It's much more reasonable to assume this is another example in which the COMPANY was negligent, and not just the driver, and that for purposes of taking shortcuts the guy was kept on far longer than he should have been.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Yubaru: "There have been numerous cases of where drivers are supposedly checked prior to work and yet are caught for driving under the influence." Please show me evidence of this "fact". "Oh and BTW I have a bus license and have driven them before as well, so dont come and try and tell me I dont know what I am talking about." Maybe you do have a bus licence bit this "fact" has nothing to do with this story. Are you, have you ever been, a Tokyu Bus driver? Oikawa: Go to a Tokyu Bus depot and see for yourself how the drivers are checked when they go on duty. Yubaru: "Yes many if not most are fine, but getting drowsy on a shift with passengers on the bus is NOT professional in the least". That is what I wrote, maybe you need to have my words explained as you seem to lack simple comprehension skills. Smithinjapan: Quite. Yubaru has assumed that the driver was under the influence of alcohol and has tried to turn this assumption into a fact, not a very intelligent thing to do as you have quite properly pointed put. There could be several different explanations but notwithstanding any of those, there is no excuse for what he did. However, as usual, there will be no follow up to this story and we will be left hanging, never to know the truth.

If you really are interested then follow a Tokyu Bus driver when he goes on duty, in fact if this site had some proper journalists they could do that, it would make an interesting story. I live in Tokyu Bus / Train country and have used these guys practically every day for nearly twenty years, they rarely get anything wrong.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It is shocking and unbelievable

0 ( +0 / -0 )

live in Tokyu Bus / Train country and have used these guys practically every day for nearly twenty years, they rarely get anything wrong.

Apologist for the company and driver, must own stock in the company. Your way of thinking is like "Hey they usually are ok so give the guy a break...." Tell that to the injured one's.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

56 is not that old. It could be any reason from anxiety bout the trip the night before where he could have gotten little slip. Or maybe he ate late and went to bed, then could not sleep. I have had experienced both cases, plus not being able to sleep because of the caffeine in the tea or soda.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Of course he should be checked, but why all the sudden insistence that it was alcohol related? In this nation time and again we've heard of accidents involving people who were overworked or volunteered to take on double shifts with little or no down time

Poor choice of words here, I made a suggestion you "sensationalized it, and then you go and make an assumption that it's probably the companies fault.

Think about the rationale for my initial statement, he should be checked for both.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Anyone can just stroll into a Tokyu Bus Depot and watch the drivers' alcohol level testing can they??

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Give him a break it happens, I fell asleep in my car on a kind of long drive home from college once and wrecked my car I certainly wasn't drunk or anything and had never fallen asleep in my car before. Totally took me by suprise I imagine the same goes for this guy who is probably going to be very very cautious for the remainder of his time as a bus driver. It says people only got minor injuries I bet the driver is by far taking this the worst

0 ( +1 / -1 )

sound like something the company payed the police to say so they wouldn't be blamed...... sounds very fishy

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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