Driver admits sleeping as commuter train travels at 120 kmh


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"What could go wrong? I'll just take a nap..."

He's lucky he got caught - and so are the passengers!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It's about time to start operating driverless trains on all lines, like they already do on monorail. I would feel much safer.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The driver probably looked like half of the Diet politicians during a session, concentrating with their eyes shut. On a serious note, I thought these trains were equipped with a 'Dead Man's Handle' or similar device, that applied the brakes if the driver became unconscious? Anyone know?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Punish the driver? Punish the company would be more appropriate! There have been quite a few similar incidents on different train lines in recent months. The drivers are not scrutinised and are left to drive their shifts regardless of their physical condition. Train drivers in Australia are randomly tested for alcohol and drugs before every shift. Their shifts are also much shorter and provide adequate rest between shifts. These jokers are driving for 8-12 hours per shift and regularly only receive a minimum of 8 hours rest between shifts. I’m sure these kinds of incidents happen a lot more often than get reported.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

If I travel by bus rather than train the bus driver must, by law, pull in at a rest station at regular intervals. It would make sense that those who operate trains should do the same. At regular intervals the drivers could be swapped out for a short break. Stations likely are already equipped with employee-only areas in which they could nap, do yoga, use a treadmill or any other means of resting and recuperating. In addition, the random checks described by Disillusioned would also be helpful if they are not already in place. That would be much less costly than an accident caused by an employee who has nodded off.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Wow. Japanese can sleep anywhere! I’ve never seen such sleeping people anywhere. Fired is better punishment for this joker.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Wow. Japanese can sleep anywhere! I’ve never seen such sleeping people anywhere. Fired is better punishment for this joker.

It's because of the ridiculous number of hours they are expected to work.

The work culture in Japan gives more value to the amount of time spent at work, rather than the amount of actual work done. And, they even expect you to spend time with co-workers after work, which I'm sure leads to many sleepy hungover days at work, as well.

The indoctrination probably starts at a young age with all those after-school "clubs". (Which also increase the number of hours the teachers must work, btw. Lose-lose.)

Whether or not they should fire him depends on whether or not he's had any previous safety infractions. If it's his first offense, suspension without pay, followed by retraining and a period of supervised apprenticeship might serve to kick him into shape.

If he has previous safety infractions, then yeah, fire his ass or stick him in a ticket window.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Punish the driver huh?

What was the driver's duty schedule like in the days preceding this incident?

Drivers falling asleep are usually the result of extreme overwork and punitive training regimes by the company.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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