Nationwide autumn road safety campaign begins


A nationwide autumn safe driving campaign has been launched. The campaign, which runs through Sept 30, is aimed at reducing accidents involving children, the elderly and drink-driving, the National Police Agency said in a statement to media.

According to the NPA, 2,869 people have died in traffic accidents so far this year. The number is down 130 from last year, but the number of victims aged over 65 is nearly half the total, at 1,343. NPA statistics show that 73 of the deaths were children under the age of 15, an increase for the second year running. The number of drink-driving deaths is down just over 5% on last year, but is still a concern at 167, police say.

Police are asking pedestrians and cyclists to take extra care in the evenings, and request that adults and children traveling by car all ensure they use their seat-belts. The campaign will involve a strengthening of anti drink-driving measures, as well as classes geared toward road safety.

© Japan Today

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It will be a successful campaign and NPA may take credit for it (right now).

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I was wondering why a scad of police officers were standing at so many intersections yesterday. Mostly they were signalling drivers to stop when the light turned red and go when it turned green (or blue).

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I was wondering the same thing too borscht!

Hope the JHS girl who nearly flattened herself against my car yesterday when she jumped the lights on her bike in the rain and the brakes didnt work is going to be listening.

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What percentage of the 1,343 dead geriatric drivers caused the accidents that killed them?

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The article does not say that 1343 dead were drivers, they were "victims" which includes drivers and anyone else involved.

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The highest annual traffic deaths in Japan was recorded in 1970 when 16,765 people died. If you want to be included in their statistic, make sure you die within 24 hours of the accident. Deaths after 24 hours are not included. In 2010, 4863 people died. By the way, in post-war 1946 4,409 people died.

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Thanks JT for this news, so the autumn road safety campaign didn't escape me. I must drive safe and avoid places where police freeze their @ss waiting for unsuspecting motorists, like badly adjusted traffic lights, speed traps, and other places where they know that anybody will make a mistake unless they are knowledgeable about that specific place.

Otherwise, mad cyclists are everywhere and getting more and more every year. I sincerely hope police will pay attention to educate them. They are very dangerous and I see more and more people walking in the road late night when the sidewalk is totally empty.

as well as classes geared toward road safety.

That's really good.

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Just saw a woman driving a car with two toddlers jumping around on the front seat and 4 older kids, arms hanging out the windows, bouncing around in the back. The police on the corner didn't bat an eyelid. Stupid, stupid people about.

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Last year I almost ran over one of these idiot cops when he jumped out in the middle of the street in front of my van waving a red flag and yelling at me to pull over ... for a friggin seat belt check! He looked right at me through the windshield, could see I was wearing my seatbelt and STILL pulled me over so I could be told I should always wear a seat belt and drive safely. I told him that I WAS driving safely until some F-ing IDIOT jumped in front of me, forced me to brake hard, and stood in front of my van for no other reason than to inconvenience me on my way home. This year I got the Go-pro camera in the window so hopefully dipsh$t is out there again - watch for it on youtube!

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yeah. don't get me started. Japan has the dumbest driving laws in the world. Worse yet they ignore the important ones, and enforce the stupid ones. Did you know that study after study after study has shown speed limits DO NOT effect fatal car crashes. they found in experiments and examples ALL OVER THE WORLD that people will drive a speed they feel is safe, and people who speed too fast will speed regardless. YET japan has EVEN lower than average speed limits. maybe I am just bitter about my 11man ticket. I was going 90kph on a 4 lane HIGHWAY!!!! in the USA I would have gotten a ticket for going too slow!!!!! thoughts from Japan: Babies in the lap? no problem. running red lights? we encourage it. Seat belts? is that what they are called? BUT WHAT EVER YOU DO NEVER EVER CROSS A STREET UNLESS YOU HAVE A WALK SIGNAL EVEN IF THERE ARE NO CARS ANYWHERE! NEVER DO THAT! but riding a bike with a cellphone, the seat FAR TOO LOW, and an umbrella. No problem!

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This year I got the Go-pro camera in the window so hopefully dipsh$t is out there again - watch for it on youtube!

That's an excellent idea not only for youtube, though. I always have camera within reach in the car, in case of accident all I have to do is to jump out as quick as I can and take as many pictures I can about the accident and the surroundings for the police or for the possible court procedure as evidence.

Also, placing an all time operational movie camera behind the windshield while driving can be useful, as it faithfully records the circumstances of the accident e.g. a mad cyclist or an overzealous swarming police officers jump in front of your car within the braking distance. Can save you before the court.

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Safety Campaign my ass! These cops stop motorist for the stupidest things during these campaings. While they do that, you got the loud motorcycle idiots zooming past reving thier engines doing anything unsafe that they want. How about the keystomes using thier time and resources to catch those idiots before bothering the majority of the safe drivers out there.

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I've seen more than a few times where the kids are sticking their heads out the sunroofs (moonroofs) while the vehicle is being driven. This is extremely dangerous. I've actually see this done on Shuto Expressway too! Traffic Laws have been revised in 2008, so this is strictly illegal now. (rear seat belt requirement, although not enforced too much). There was a case in the 90's where this mother drove her vehicle under a railroad underpass and the kid who was sticking out his head out of the sunroof was decapitated. In this case, the mother claimed she was unaware of the kid sticking out his head. But in most cases, the drivers (most likely a parent) are aware of it and doing nothing about it.

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Is drink-driving forbidden here? I always have a Pocari Sweat when I drive.

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Drink-driving is the same as drunk driving. Who wants to drink bottled sweat anyway? (Only kidding.)

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I hope these cops ticket all those idiots who go roaring through red lights at high speed and drive with their eyes glued to their keitai. Before the campaign began the traffic officers would just stand there and watch drivers break regulation after regulation. Lets see them get tough for once and reign in those traffic regulation breakers. And, if they do indeed get tough on illegal driving, l hope they will continue their efforts once the safety traffic campaign ends.

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My take is this: No money is generated if law enforcement officials enforce traffic rules everyday. Yeah, they might get a little money here and there for speeders, red light runners, kids standing up in the car, folks using their keitais and other dangerous things like that. They money starts to flow when terrible accidents happen. People die, someone's gotta pay, people get hurt, someone's gotta pay, property is damaged, someone's gotta pay. In most other countries (i.e.: USA and Germany), they don't wait for bad things to happen. Fines are stiff and plentiful. They do everything they can to avoid accidents in the first place. Japan is always behind the rest of the world!

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Why is it only Autumn and not year-round? Traffic safety is something that should ALWAYS be strived for, and the rules enforced.

"...and request that adults and children traveling by car all ensure they use their seat-belts."

Shouldn't be a request. I'm glad they noted that there was yet ANOTHER increase in the deaths of children from the year previous, and in many cases it's because of the ridiculous lack of enforcement on people who don't wear seat-belts (because the government didn't want to seem 'unpopular' by making punishment more severe than a zero fine and one point off a license for a driver who doesn't wear one).

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Actually I feel kind of sorry for the traffic cops as they have totally lost control over a population of millions of cyclists and scooter riders who ignore just about any traffic rule. The police would have to recruit a similar number of officers to put a stop to the lawlessness. It will never happen. Japan, a developed country, but also still an Asian country.

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These campaigns are held twice a year, in spring and in fall. The campaign was started by Japan's national rural police back in 1948. The national rural police was centralized and became the National Police Agency (prefectural police) in 1954.

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@Robert / edojin, trust me, they DO ticket for using your cell phone. My friend got busted twice for that. Had to pay a fine, go to some seminar / workshop thing for a day. Next time and the license is revoked.

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As someone who drives almost every day in Tokyo, it amazes me to see what others are doing while driving. Truck drivers busy reading manga, people on their phones while driving, kids w/o seat belts climbing around the car while mom doesn't give a crap, you name it! Will never forget one of those "24 hours with the police" shows on TV here. Had a camera at a left turn signal capturing all of what was going on - had one dude practicing the trumpet while driving!

I am afraid to even blink sometimes as cyclists, jerks on motorcycles, and the elderly who love to cross streets when they feel like it, all just come at you. And gods help you if you hit someone! And yet, I prefer driving to commuting by train. Go figure!

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I wish the cops had been around when these two drivers went through red lights and almost hit me just in the past week.

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The target of these traffic safety campaign should not just be the reduction of fatalities in traffic. It should be about making everyone feel safer in the roads. Meaning eliminating the hardcore who ignore the rules. Those who drive too fast, especially on narrow roads without sidewalks where people walk, bike and sundry. Those who don't signal or do so after the fact (standard these days it seems and irritates me tremendously). Drivers who make a right turn just in front of you. The tailgaters. The cell phone freaks who hold them against their ears, or what is left of them, driving, talking, smoking and going into a turn at the same time. The shaver and bottled drink within reach, not mentioning the manga, loud boom-boom and navigation with TV. Kids roaming freely around inside the vehicle and mom wearing seat belt. I guess the list is endless. I've been driving in this wonderful country for more than 40 years and I know fatalities were very high in the 60s and 70s. One way to reduce those numbers was to install a traffic light, out of sync with others, at every intersection, but driving manners haven't improved the tiniest bit. Education does not stretch so far, it seems. Nor does the budget for real traffic safety: increasing the chances to catch offenders, i.e. having more police officers out there in the traffic jungle and not the ones who write out parking tickets or those who hide from view with a radar gun to trap drivers who go a little too fast. In a way I do feel sorry for the police officers who are faced with the overpowering mass of offenders. They'd rather look the other way - I guess - than e.g. trying to book a stupid cyclist, who count in the millions, for whom no rules exist - anymore. Sorry for this rant.

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Shouldn't be a request. I'm glad they noted that there was yet ANOTHER increase in the deaths of children from the year previous, and in many cases it's because of the ridiculous lack of enforcement on people who don't wear seat-belts (because the government didn't want to seem 'unpopular' by making punishment more severe than a zero fine and one point off a license for a driver who doesn't wear one).

You're "Glad" that JT noted yet another increase in deaths of children from the year previous. Well, it's obvious what their intentions were since they were probably waiting for response like yours.

To put it in perspective, there were 67 deaths of 15 years and younger the same period two years ago. There were 70 last year. An increase of 3 per year. Must be an "EPIDEMIC" that the government must address as a priority. (sarcasm)

Let's dismiss the fact that three years ago, the number was 87. Let's dismiss the fact that 10 years ago, the number was 172. Instead, let's focus on a GROWING TREND for the last two years. (sarcasm)

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I absolutely hated driving in Japan: retarded speed limits, useless cops, bikes, scooters weaving all over the place, etc etc etc.. but my number one pet peeve: Waiting at a light but when it turns green, the guy opposite me who is waiting to turn right cuts in front of me while I'm driving through the intersection.. even though I thought common sense was that the guy going straight has the right of way.. ugh

and I never understood why parents let kids run around the inside of the car... or carrying babies on their laps while driving. Its not every driver obviously.. but I saw it often enough that it infuriated me. I hope never ever have to drive there again

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