national

Police offer ramen discounts to elderly as incentive not to drive

38 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2016 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

38 Comments
Login to comment

Elderly drivers who give up their permits will receive a certificate from police which they can present when ordering the noodles to see the price reduced from 590 yen to 500 yen, an Aichi police spokesman told AFP.

Like gimme a break here. This is nonsense, like 90 is going to make people line up to return their licenses. This is BS

Down here in Okinawa the elderly get something like 50% discounts on all public transportation, and there are tons of other incentives as well.

Plus they receive a photo ID card that replaces the license as well.

Aichi cops need to talk with our cops down here in Okinawa.

“It’s stupid to try to maintain your licenses just out of pride,” said Taa Shinen.

Probably took you 20 years to realize this fact too!

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Good intention, but I don't think it will work.

Calculation goes as follows: no car anymore, got to get a bus ticket (which is gonna cost how much?) or even use a taxi (if living countryside). Yen 500 for some ramen? Can make it cheaper at home for less than half that money. So, NOPE, gonna keep the license and remain to be a traffic obstacle endanger others.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Now we're talking.

Older people have no business driving. Thumbs down me all you want, but political correctness only kills.

A person in their 80's has nothing of the coordination and reaction and speed of someone much younger. That's not being biased or hateful, it's the plain TRUTH.

This is at least a step in the right direction. Pride has no place in our society

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

Yes, 90yen off the price is not a huge saving. Annual driving tests are a good idea as well perhaps offer discounted or in the case of here in Australia, free public transport for senior citizens.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The country is introducing a new rule

Japanese police are offering noodle discounts to elderly citizens who hand in their driving licenses,

It’s stupid to try to maintain your licenses just out of pride,” said Taa Shinen.

The country of au pair

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You are not even supposed to give them anything back! As elderly and wise they are, they are supposed to understand simple truth about safety of both them and their surroundings. Trying to say to yourself "I am STILL fine, I can keep going" is incredibly childish, and outrageously stupid when because of that... what, pride? someone loses not only his own life but takes someone's else. Simply because someone can not come in terms with the Nature? Unacceptable.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"It was discounted ramen or free unicycles, but the latter would have been ridiculous," Taa concluded.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Just shows the govt doesn't take this seriously. A jpy90 discount to address a problem which costs lives? Come on.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

What a joke! Again, I'm not surprised by this. When, Oh, when will the government take this all seriously?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

So, how do they get to the ramen shop after handing in their licence? Why don't they do something proactive like, make all public transport free for over 70's and the government subsidise 50% of taxi fares.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Free public transport would help in the cities, but the problem is that public transport is very limited out in the country and so even that's not the whole answer. Also, some prefectures have had cognitive tests for a while and I've heard the elderly joke about passing them. They're not particularly rigorous.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Yubaru, for once, is right. It's not even worth a trip to the koban for a frikken 90 yen discount.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

A 90 yen discount on ramen for your license? Who could think of anything more stupid? Elderly people drive not only out of pride but also out of necessity. We have great public transport but there are plenty of blind spots where you need a car. This is particularly true of the countryside. Elderly people need inexpensive or free transport, not slightly cheaper ramen.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

el - Free public transport would help in the cities, but the problem is that public transport is very limited out in the country

But, the accidents are not happening in the countryside. They are happening in city centers near hospitals and the like where public transport is available. Ambulances are free for over 70's in Australia. We call them, geriatric taxis.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Elderly people everywhere will be hopping in their car to get some free ramen as soon as they can. Who needs a license?

Oh, and shouldn't there be some kind of tie-in to competence with these fabulous ideas? Should everything depend on age? How about free ramen for elderly people who don't have accidents? The slogan could be, "Use your noodle."

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Is this story legit ??? I have a better idea ... Why don't the police offer tickets and just enforce well established rules of the road ??? Such as failure to stop .... Failure to yield .... Demanding the right of way ... Wreckless driving .... Tailgating .... Child seat and seatbelt laws ... While I have already told my children someday they're gonna drive me around .... Singling out seniors because they've lost a bit of their senses is highly prejudicial as compared to the dangerous younger drivers who claim to have their wits ....

9 ( +10 / -1 )

But the elderly (sorry I can't remember the age) already get a free bus pass, at least in Hachioji

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

What if you don't like ramen? And anyway, old people would do well to avoid that stuff with all its salt. This proposal is so stupid.

Down here in Okinawa the elderly get something like 50% discounts on all public transportation, and there are tons of other incentives as well.

That is very good. Give the elderly who turn in their licences a 50% discount on ALL public transport. ALL over the country as well as the private railway companies. Now that's real incentive.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Yubaru - I had to do the 3-year license renewal deal at a driving school in Naha yesterday in a session for seniors. The "lecture" strongly emphasized the accident statistics of the age groups, and the video must have repeated scenes of staged accidents (all involving cyclists and joggers) two dozen times. Then they sat us down at driving simulators (like arcade games) and tested reflexes - although the equipment was really clunky it gave computerized readouts of the results of braking and steering - pretty cool. Then vision testing and finally a road test just like the driving test.. I would say that it is a very good approach to warning of potential age-related problems. I don't know if other prefectures do the same, or if Okinawa takes licenses away from prople with poor results. I would not want to do it more often than every 3 years though.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Free bus or reduced taxi rates would be more practical.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

90 yen ramen discounts to give up what the people may very well need?? Ridiculous. That's not even a bus ticket to the supermarket, or a train ticket to get to the doctor. How about reducing the cost of public transportation and making it more readily available?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

The lives of road users and pedestrians are worth a 90 yen discount on ramen in one restaurant in Aichi.

Yep, that sounds about right Japan. Well done.

Please update us on the negotiations surrounding drivers using their smartphones, and kids not wearing seat belts etc. 3 for 2 at Mr. Donuts? 10% off kaitensushi on Thursdays? 25,000 yen off funeral costs?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Why not just punch the old boys in the head and take their licenses away? If the cops can beat doctors to death with total impunity they most certainly can wallop a few recalcitrant pensioners.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This problem when talking about the elderly goes way beyond driving, Japan needs to set up more & varied group type homes so seniors, who often(like my MIL) live on their own in housing meant for many more than 1 person.

Although convincing elderly to move where things are more convenient etc is often difficult this needs to happen it is simply IMPOSSIBLE to cater to needs of elderly who are scattered all over the place & in the country public transportation is minimal or absent.

Where my MIL lives in Nara buses are free & even a sento is free or like Y100 so great for her in winter as her apartment is more like a dank cold cave, but she is stubborn & wont consider moving(her kids, my wife included are all very far away from Nara) & expects my wife to fly out on a moments notice, we are in for a rough ride, not looking forward as things get worse.

The ramen idea is totally off, Japan you need to focus on the PROBLEMS, not the symptoms or in this case some wild tangent!!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Driver's license?...90 yen. Driver's license?...90 yen. I think that would be an easy choice for me.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Perhaps we shouldn't blame the consequences, but, try and find the source of the problems.

Why do these "elderly" keep driving?

I've been in Japan for quite a time and i've seen lots of things, i've always found easier to speak with elder people, they tend to be much more friendly.

I've seen cases where a octagenarian were put out of her house by her son and his fiancée, and she was left living inside a 15sqm house in the garden without AC or a proper bathroom. Her son argued "Since father is gone You've been here by yourself, you don't need a house that big anyways.".

And she felt happy, because she was going to live once again with her son nearby. She hasn't even talked to him since he left to Tokyo a few decades ago.

But even now, he doesn't speak to her, neither his fiancée. So everyday she picks up her little car and drive to the park, feeding the birds and talking to strangers out of loneliness.

She told me her story with teary eyes and since that day i feel very uneasy when people mistreat the elderly.

The government should treat them right. But it won't work if their kids doesn't do the same.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Death is tragic but this is not a problem for only aged people. Just last week I read that a father mistakenly hit his child with his car and killing the child. So all fathers should turn in their license for cheaper ramen? I understand their point in this matter but looking at what I've read in the news, seems there are more deaths caused by those under the age of 65.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

How about appealing to the senior's financially instead of appealing to their stomachs. What a crap of Mickey Mouse BS.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

People are knocking the idea based on the trivial size of the discount. But if the intention is to generate publicity, it may not be such a bad thing. There's no easy solution to this problem, and it really needs old folks to voluntarily stop driving when they are no longer up to the task. Replacing the pride element of keeping your license with the social responsibility of giving it up may at least help even if it doesn't fully solve the problem.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There are good and bad drivers. I've see plenty of really terrible drivers in their 20s and 30s. Maybe they should hand in their Driving permits for 90 yen off ramen??

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Yubaru: Very well said. Thanks for joining on the correct side this time. Discounted salty and fatty ramen soup will put them in the grave faster. Come on police, how about some tofu?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You gotta give the discount plus transportation to and from and maybe a few people may at least try to fake that they gave up their license.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think any article on this subject should be accompanied by statistics that link accident statistics to age groups. such as accidents per 100,000km per age group. Are more accidents caused by age-related cognitive impairment than by youth-related over-confidence or middle-aged stress?

In any case, this entire problem will become irrelevant in a few years with the advent of autonomous vehicles. The technology is already available to brake a vehicle automatically if it's on a collision course.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How about reducing the cost of public transportation and making it more readily available?

I don't know about other prefectures, but in Tokyo you can get a "Silver Pass" for a 1000 yen per year if you are elderly and not earning money. It includes Toei subway lines, Toden, Toei Bus, etc. If you're making money you can still get it for 20,000 yen a year, which is less than 2000 yen per month. A regular Toei Bus monthly pass is 9000 yen.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

From IL DMV: "Illinois drivers can renew their licenses for 4 years between ages 69 and 80; up to the age of 86, they can renew for 2 years; after 87 years the license needs to be renewed annually. Illinois drivers who are under 74 years can opt for the Safe Driver Renewal. Drivers who are 75 years of age or older at the time their current driver license expires are generally required to renew their license in person at a local VSD office." ............................................................................................................ Sounds good on paper, but how strict is it and how strict are Japanese re-licensing rules? If the Japanese share Americans' ' "love affair" with cars, I can imagine a bumper sticker equivalent to: "I'll give you my license when you pry my cold dead hands from the steering wheel."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Driverless systems for real; bring 'em on, baby!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hmm. Hard to judge. Dont wanna shut off old people and open to public scrutiny. They suppose to be retire and happy living thier lifes. Not ok to impose rules. Is it ok for public to impose or say negative about them. They not into social networking to express their ideas or counter. They want to relax and live the remaining years. I dont like their children treat them bad. Please. Old people are not nuisance. They done their share and save for their family. Ban them from driving add salt to insult and disrespectful.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Make it all you can eat for 200 yen and you got yourself a deal. heck, I'll give up mine (I'll take train, anyway) and I'm in my 20s.

1 ( +1 / -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