COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.
national

Motorcyclist killed after crashing into taxi

22 Comments

A 23-year-old motorcyclist was killed after he crashed into a taxi in Saitama early Sunday morning.

According to police, the accident occurred at around 12:30 a.m. TV Asahi quoted police as saying that the motorcyclist, identified as Hiroki Wakayama, hit the taxi as it was turning right at an intersection. The traffic light was green at the time and the motorcycle was coming from the opposite direction toward the taxi.

Wakayama was taken to hospital with severe head injuries but was pronounced dead on arrival. The 49-year-old taxi driver and his 42-year-old passenger received minor injuries, police said.

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

22 Comments
Login to comment

Not very clear. The light was green or there was a green arrow? If it was green then the taxi is at fault for not giving the right of way. But this does`t surprise me as most drivers in Japan try to rush through a turn on a green light and almost kill people.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The traffic light was green at the time.

Green for whom?

I've noticed a pattern in Japan. When there's an accident where a company vehicle, like a train, a taxi, or a truck, kills someone then the citizen is always stated as being in the wrong.

When there's an accident between two citizens then even if there genuinely was nothing the citizen could do to avoid the accident then the citizen is arrested.

Had this been a regular citizen's car in this scenario then the citizen would have been arrested simply for being involved in someone's death.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Correct, the article is not clear. But I put my money on the light simply being green (not a right.-turn green arrow), and the taxi cutting in to turn, ignoring the biker. I have simply seen that too often for comfort (seeing that I ride a scooter in Tokyo). Especially taxis and blue construction trucks are notorious for that.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@WilliB Yes ! I used ride my scooter in Tokyo and once a taxi suddenly sverved over to pick up a passenger right in front of me - Luckily I managed not to fall off. Another time, the drive opened the door just as I was passing...

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Yeah I think taxi drivers are the worst drivers of all, especially considering they are supposedly professional drivers. I don't get all the hate here for lorry drivers, I use my bike on main roads almost day and the lorry drivers always give me a wide berth and seem very careful. The taxi drivers, as Fighting Viking says, do absolutely moronic things like opening their doors road side right in front of oncoming traffic.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

i can't picture what happened here... Really confusing way to tell a story, am i the only one having trouble picturing how the accident happened? Im no detective or anything but i am interested about what happened so i can avoid this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

23 years old... Head injuries...

I'd say the odds are pretty good that he was wearing his flimsy piss-pot style helmet around the back of his head as a fashion accessory.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Ken Kitsune It appears that a taxi made a right turn while there was a motorcycle going straight through the intersection in the oncoming lane. This put the left side of the cab in front of the bike, and the bike slammed into that side. From the bike rider's point of view, the taxi turned from the oncoming lane, toward the road on the biker's left.

It is, unfortunately, a pretty common scenario. The car driver turning right misjudges the oncoming bike's speed and/or location, figuring he/she can finish the turn before the bike gets to the intersection. The bike rider doesn't expect the car to turn right in front of him/her, and can't stop or go around in time.

I ride a bike a lot, and drive a car a lot, too. I've seen the situation from both sides, so I'm wary of trusting the drivers/riders around me to always drive safely and react to situations appropriately. I drive/ride attentively and defensively.So far so good.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

BalefireNov. 09, 2014 - 11:34PM JST @Ken Kitsune It appears that a taxi made a right turn while there was a motorcycle going straight through the intersection in the oncoming lane. This put the left side of the cab in front of the bike, and the bike slammed into that side. From the bike rider's point of view, the taxi turned from the oncoming lane, toward the road on the biker's left.

That's how I read it too, but in that case the taxi driver is totally and clearly in the wrong.

Oncoming traffic (i.e. the biker, who was going straight) has right of way, and the taxi driver was turning illegally, and caused someone's death. That's why I made the comment about businesses being judged by a completely different standard.

Again, this article is so badly written that it is very unclear who the light was green for.

If it was green for both the taxi driver and the biker then the taxi driver is guilty since oncoming traffic has right of way.

If it was green for the taxi driver but red for the biker (e.g. a filter light) then I can see how the taxi driver might not be guilty.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In Tokyo on major roads it seems like every 100 meters there is a can with wilted flowers commemorating a fatal accident, I'm sure 99% are motorbike accidents. Once I met an old lady renewing flowers on kan-7 - I sympathetically asked and it was indeed her son, on a motorbike - condolences and a short prayer.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've been hit by a taxi. Their top priority is MONEY!!

That combination of "trying to make ends meet" and "a taxi company that takes a major chunk of your fares" is dangerous for any motorist.

P.S: The only way to beat a taxi company in court is to make sure you were 200% in the right!! Then you need a GREAT lawyer. Not a good lawyer....a GREAT lawyer!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sounds like the taxi driver is at fault if it was a green light in both directions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@JWithers,

How so? If the taxi driver didn`t have the right of way how can the company possibly win in court.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Reason I stopped riding a motorbike is that I saw too many accidents ior incidents where motorists seemed oblivious of a bike. The facts in this case aren't clear, but my guess would be light was green and taxi just turned or light just gone red with green arrow for taxi and bike went thru the just turned red light.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Frungy

You know though that the responsibility / blame for a traffic accident is never apportioned 0%-100% no matter what and even in this instance where it seems like the taxi driver is clearly in the wrong and was the cause of the accident the police and insurance companies will reason that the bike rider should have been riding in such a way that he should have anticipated the taxi's turn no matter how sudden or unexpected it may have been and should have been going slow enough to stop in time or maneuver around it. I'm not saying I like this one bit but it it's how they view driver responsibility in Japan.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Jail the taxi,better yet vehicular slaughter should get death penalty, that is the only way they will be carefull enough

0 ( +0 / -0 )

USNinJapan2Nov. 10, 2014 - 12:31PM JST Frungy You know though that the responsibility / blame for a traffic accident is never apportioned 0%-100% no matter what

No.

Insurance companies apportion percentage blame for business reasons. You see if both people have to claim something off their insurance then both insurance companies can revoke both parties' no-claims bonus, and both insurance companies "win". The only losers are the customers, because by using the percentage blame system both companies can recover the money they paid out in the case over the next year. In effect you're better off putting 5 000yen a month into a separate account, because when you have an accident it will probably be cheaper to just pay the cash, and you won't end up paying more.

The police on the other hand, have absolutely no interest in percentage blame. They determine who was at fault, and if the fault constituted a criminal offence. And the J-cops are paid their bonuses on successful arrests and prosecutions, so if it has been a slow month you might find them very unsympathetic to the fact that the other car pulled out of convenience store on the opposite side of the road, crossed two lanes of traffic and then pulled into your lane and slammed on brakes.

So you're mistaken USNinJapan2.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Most likely one or both of them weren't looking where they were going. The level of peripheral awareness among pedestrians, drivers, cyclists etc in Japan is generally appalling

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Many many motorcycle riders here in Japan are absolutely crazy!! they own the road old geezers driving taxi their way to want to be driving but there still doing a gift arrived at eyesight and it's a bad bad combination!! That's just where on accident waiting to happen after another!!! If you want to die , ride a motorcycle here!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Cars turning in front of motorcycles is a very common accident. Drivers either can't see the motorcycle or properly judge their speed, and they think it's safe to turn. 12 years ago, a co-worker turned into the parking lot at work right in front of a motorcycle cop. The police officer hit the car and flew over the hood. Luckily he wasn't going more than 40 km/h and didn't sustain any serious injury.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ Wontond, so what happened to your co worker who turned right in front of he Japanese motorcycle cop???

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ Wontond, so what happened to your co worker who turned right in front of he Japanese motorcycle cop???

This happened in Canada, not Japan. I think she just got a ticket.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites