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Traffic-safety campaign gets under way

15 Comments

Japan's annual nationwide spring traffic-safety week campaign, which runs through April 15, focuses this year on educating pre-schoolers about the dangers of running out onto the street.

Tateshi Higuchi, superintendent-general of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, launched the campaign in Tokyo on Friday by walking with a group of elementary school students on a pedestrian crossing in Koto Ward.

Police said that this year, the weeklong campaign will also try to raise awareness of the dangers of getting drunk at cherry blossom-viewing parties and then lying down on a street.

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Police said that this year, the weeklong campaign will also try to raise awareness of the dangers of getting drunk at cherry blossom-viewing parties and then lying down on a street

That must be why this morning I saw the police standing at a major intersection to enforce the safety rules completely ignore two cars that ran a solid red right and an illegal u-turn. What a joke.

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@nsg79, This "safety week" always focuses on pedestrians and bicycles.

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Near where I work, I often see the retired guys with the safety signs aimed at pedestrians/cyclists. One of the signs says in Japanese "Obey the traffic lights" I've told them on occasion that it's misdirected - they should be showing it to drivers.

"Traffic safety" here is a farce. Just last night I saw some guy tailgating just 2 metres behind some poor bugger; as I looked back, I could see the lights from a patoka- back where the local koban is, so the tailgater passed right in front of the koban, with officers outside in a vehicle.

A few moments later the patoka- came trundling along past me; they'd "not seen" it...

Police need to get real on enforcement; but I doubt they ever will; after all, they wouldn't want to inconvenience the errant drivers now would they? that would disturb the "Wa".

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This is the problem with Japan. "Campaigns" for things that are laws or common sense. You shouldn't need to have a special time of year to clamp down on dumb activities like "laying in the street when drunk".

Also like to add that parents should be teaching kids not to run out in front of traffic. i would much prefer that the cops deal with speeders, those who don't stop at crosswalks while pedestrians are waiting, drunk driving... And of course, checking for stolen bikes!!

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Traffic control is mostly relegated to the motorcycle cops. Those on foot will only stop a bicycle or two a day to look like they are doing their job. It's mostly a gesture to expose themselves to the public making them look busy. They love to ride around in their patrol cars flashing their red lights and using taxpayers gasoline which costs them nil. On the whole, they are probably nice guys and that's about it.

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This is yet another campaign that more or less relies on people 'cooperating' and 'understanding' more than any type of enforcement. As one poster said, it usually targets pedestrians and bicycles -- things police can catch -- more than vehicles. And then when the 'safety week' is done it's back to ignoring all the infringements and law-breaking.

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One question regarding, as Smithinjapan says, these campaigns relying on co-operation & understanding rather than enforcement - Why is there little-to-no enforcement?

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Is it just me or does this seem ass-backwards? Shouldn't they be educating drivers to be aware of pre-schoolers running onto streets and telling drivers to STOP at bloody pedestrian crossings? In other words, "Slow the %$&# down people!"

As for drunken posers than sleep on streets, they are old enough to know better!

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A campaign to raise awareness of the dangers in lying drunk in the street? How about a campaign to raise awareness in alcoholism (in Japan there are no alcoholics. Just "people who like to drink") and binge-drinking.

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Definitely need to educate stupid drivers and police about safety issues. But needing to educate people not to fall asleep drunk on the roads? Sound like natural selection to me, the gene pool is better of with these removed I feel.

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hosefella: Very good point! Why aren't they raising awareness about alcoholism instead of asking people not to sleep on the street when they're dead drunk. It seems that being drunk is still an excuse for extremely bad behaviour here, and that getting drunk is perfectly fine, given all the enkais that take place year around. I'd be happier if the police were actually patrolling places where hanami events take place, and fining people who decide it's okay to urinate in front of everyone else, and/or other public nuisances.

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How about because the guys that decide what events and what subjects get done are old guys who probably have drinking problems themselves??

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Fantastic. A traffic safety campaign aimed at children who won't be allowed behind the wheel for 15 years.

On the other hand, when I was three, I was in awe of the police uniform, so I suppose you can't blame them for choosing a good audience.

Let's face it - if they were to try stopping people running red lights, there'd be a lot of paperwork to do - working on the assumption they ever caught the right perp - i.e. he turns himself in.

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Tateshi Higuchi, superintendent-general of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, launched the campaign in Tokyo on Friday by walking with a group of elementary school students on a pedestrian crossing

As, at the precise same time, several hundred bosozoku were riding in convoy through the Tokyo streets, ignoring absolutely every single traffic law, with utterly impermeable impunity.

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As, at the precise same time, several hundred bosozoku were riding in convoy through the Tokyo streets, ignoring absolutely every single traffic law, with utterly impermeable impunity.

Probably rode right past Mr. Higuchi, too.

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