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Woman, child not wearing seatbelts fall out of car at intersection

85 Comments

A 26-year-old woman and her 1-year-old son were injured on Thursday morning when they fell out of the back seat of a car turning at an intersection in Suita City in Osaka Prefecture.

The woman was sitting in the back of her friend’s car and had her son sitting on her lap, when the car’s rear left door swung open as the car turned right at an intersection. The pair fell out of the car and onto the road. Neither of them were wearing seatbelts, police said.

The pair suffered minor injuries. The woman told police that her son had been playing with the door lever and lock.

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85 Comments
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Should take the cops a few months to investigate this one! This kind of thing is nothing more than STUPIDITY! This country has seatbelt laws and child seat laws but it lacks a police force capable of anything but sitting on their butts in kobans.

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lucky!!..I did the same thing as a kid,impersonating Starsky and Hutch.Head to toe in calamine lotion and bandages for a week or so.I really would love to know how the mum,who was holding the baby,did not notice her son playing with the locks? busy mailing someone on her keitai? doing the Japanese 'it moves,therefore I sleep' thing? I don't have much sympathy for idiots here that don't bother with seatbelts and childseats..aah Suita,fast becoming the Saitama of Kansai.

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Rear doors all have a safety lock so they can only be opened from the outside. It's a bit of a PIA, but stops the kids from popping out at random intervals.

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if her 1 year old was sitting in his child seat, wouldn't happen in the first place.

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This should be titled Woman and Child fall out of car due to OPEN DOOR. If the door was shut, with seatbelts on or not, doubt they would have fallen out, especially considering they did fall out, and werent that injured, obviously driving reasonable speeds. I do, I get, I get the lady driving 100 on my one lane road vocalizng seatbelts, so I just love to drive without seatbelts and tempt it. I dont agree with a seatbelt rule. It rules too much in people's personal space. I dont agree that it is good for anything.

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Why are Japanese parents so stupid? Why does common sense simply not exist? Why do people think its "safe" to hold their child while driving?

I've read that even a car going 40km/h, if it were to hit something and you are holding a child in your arms, he would go flying out of your arms and smash the windshield.

Idiot. No sympathy whatsoever. Think she'll wear a seatbelt now?

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wow, illsayit...that was probably one of the strangest posts i've seen on this site.

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Why weren't they wearing seatbelts? Were they in that much of a rush or something? The door issue doesn't bother me as much as that does. I'm glad the child is okay, but something has to be said to the mother, who would just let her child crawl on her lap and NEITHER of them are tied down in a moving vehicle. There's something wrong there. Even if they weren't planning to be in the car for that long, you ALWAYS put on a seatbelt, always.

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Illsayit,

That truly was a bizarre little musing.

Seatbelts work. They save lives. The statistics confirm this across the board.

This woman and child are lucky there wasn't oncoming traffic to hit them after they fell out. The woman is an idiot.

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You might always. I dont and doesnt matter how much you write me, I wont. You are being judgemental. There is places where the law is not set for seatbelts. It is nothing but a moneymaker. I say you are making meditated judgments on how another person drives and handles their kids. Why? So that you can enforce those rules in your home?

Moderator: Readers, please focus your comments on the story, not at each other.

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It is obvious to anyone with half a brain that this women and child would not have fallen out of the car if they were wearing seatbelts. My brother survived a crash that two others died in because he had his seatbelt on- the other two boys (teenagers) received fatal head injuries from being flung at the windscreen and onto the street by the force of the crash. The police said both would likely have survived if they were wearing seatbelts. Insisting that seatbelts don't help in any way is just ridiculous. The statistics, and common sense, say that seatbelts have saved many lives.

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Seatbelt. 2. DO NOT let your little one play with a door lever. Period!!

illsayit: it is true that there are countries where people do not have to wear seatbelts by law, but if you are driving or riding in a car in JAPAN where the law says you have to wear seatbelts, then I'd say everyone should obey the law.

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Arrgh! Show some tough love and keep the kid in the baby seat! I don't know how often I see this. Even when they're older they should be in a booster seat so the seatbelt holds them properly.

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Illsayit,

How, exactly, are seatbelts a "moneymaker?" Can you explain that statement?

Also, public roads are not considered "your home." They're public. And what happens on those roads is of concern to society, particularly when it comes to traffic safety.

These two falling out of the car for failing to obey TWO traffic safety law (No seatbelt. No child safety seat) could have caused a much larger accident, possibly injuring others. Cars behind the one this woman fell out of could have swerved and hit other cars or pedestrians. There are many ways this could have been much worse.

If you want to go one step further, yes, society does have the right to tell a person how to handle their kids, especially if that handling can result in the injury or death of that child. Children are not property to be played with and shown off like a Gucci handbag.

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If you're in a crash in a car what the law says about seatbeats isn't going to stop you being thrown around and getting hurt or worse.

In a crash I witnessed a couple of weeks ago, neither car was going all that fast, yet one did a somersault and landed on its side. If the driver hadn't had her seatbelt on and had her kids strapped into their child seats, we would have been pulling bits of meat from the wreckage instead of screaming children.

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It's funny how the japanese sense of discipline does not apply to driving at all - kids on parents' laps in the front seat, drivers running red lights, driving in the emergency lane on the highway, double parking and taking naps in busy streets and avenues.... and carseats for babies and infants are mostly unheard of! Although I saw a special carseat for dogs the other day!

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i see this all the time, not people falling out the car i mean haha, but kids not in child seats and with no belts on, standing up in the car, sitting on parents lap while parent is driving. I even saw a women driving with her baby still strapped to her back !!! and thats just in my tiny village. I guess there are laws but nobody and i mean nobody really follows or cares about them. Which is weird considering its their kids life we are talking about here.

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Um, isn't it illegal to not wear seat belts?

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idiot!

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in this case, they were in the mother's friend's car, so I guess I can understand that the baby was not in a carseat, HOWEVER, the mother could AT LEAST wear seatbelt, hold the baby tight and make sure he does NOT play with the door lever!!!

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It's kinda funny cuz I always buckle up when I get in a car, but my Japanese friends make light of it. I don't usually feel like telling them that in the unlikely event of a crash, the skin on their heads will be stripped as it passes through the windshield.. kind of a conversation killer.

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futhermore, I would say if you cant keep your kids seated while driving and have to strap them to take them, er force them places, would not be on the road to good communication. If you cant get your kids to sit down, then dont go, or go live by the station like everbody else. Driving is like the internet, gives you access, but how each persons accesses it may depending on the type need to be monitored. I dont feel I need to be. I concede that seatbelts can 'make a difference', which is why it should be judged personally. I think having a baby sleep in the onbu is rather a lot more peaceful like driving, than strapped in the seat screaming. Which we know is not always, but I have seen that often too. The drivers look very flustered. Learn to cruise, man!

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Not wearing a seatbelt is illegal. This story should be in the Crime section.

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My reaction..."Why didn't they have their seatbelts on?"

My Japanese friends reaction..."Shoganai"

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Sorry, but it's not just seatbelts per se, but a lackadaisical attitude toward safety in general. ("Something bad couldn't ever happen to me.") I see people driving through my neighborhood with small babies or dogs cavorting on the driver's lap, or kids standing on the front passenger seat with their heads thrust out the window, while their mother yacks on her keitai. I see truck drivers reading manga propped on their steering wheels. I see car drivers messaging on cell phones, or watching TV shows channeled through their car navigation display screens. And then there's the ubiquitous iPod. It's a miracle the traffic fatality isn't double what it is. Praise the lord for traffic congestion to keep the speed down!

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apparently its law here for everyone to wear seatbelts but how many times have you seen kids jumping around inside the car, or toddlers not in baby chairs? all too common. police? they're too busy stopping people on their granny bikes

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I have been told on several occasions that if you are sitting in the backseat, you don't need to wear a seat belt. It's common knowledge in safety Japan.

Remember, public beliefs take a while to change, despite how obviously wrong they might be. When Detroit first started making cars with seat belts and safety features in the fifties, people thought that it meant the cars were unsafe, so it a while for the public to swallow it.

Japan needs to spend some serious effort, at the government level, to convince people that seat belts, child seats are necessary and required.

And when I say serious effort, I don't mean putting up some posters with happy cartoon characters wearing seat belts. Start giving tickets to ALL drivers not wearing them, and especially tough fines and penalties for not putting kids in child seats.

Of course that presupposes that those in the government here are concerned with anything other than getting elected and staying power.

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Now what will happen is J-cops will go nuts and we will all get pulled and fined for not wearing seatbelts in the back of a cab or in our own cars. seatbelts in the front, fine. and booster seats for kids, fine. otherwise, wtf?

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my car makes loud noise when the car moves without a driver wearing seatbelt. automakers should make cars that make loud noise when people in the backseat and passenger seat dont wear seatbelt and the car starts moving. I think that would encourage people to wear seatbelt otherwise they'd be hearing the loud "BEEEEEeeeeep!!!".

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how many times have you seen kids jumping around inside the car, or toddlers not in baby chairs?

All the time, and it is really frustrating!

In this case I can understand why the child might not have been in a child seat. Occasionally you end up in a situation - like when a friend offers you a lift down the road and her car doesnt have a childseat - but I dont like doing it at all and avoid it whenever possible.

But there is NO excuse for not even wearing a seatbelt, and letting the child play with the door. That is just plain dumb!

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When my kids were infants, I drove a "kei" van with no seat belts in the rear. There was no way I was going to take my kids out unbelted, so I bought some industrial straps and permanently attached child seats to the rear. Fortunately, I never had an accident during that time, but the peace of mind knowing my kids were safe and secure was certainly worth it.

On a side note: I once passed a pickup in Los Angeles with a large plank tied upward in the bay. Onto the plank there was attached with a large nail through the chest a realistic baby doll. And dangling from the baby doll's ankle was that sign: "Baby on Board."

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@diggerdog strapped to her back while driving?!?! Really? How does that work?

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I just wonder how many times small kids have to get hurt or killed before parents/guardians figure out how important seat belts are.

It's criminal that the police choose not to do anything to protects these kids. I guess the anti-groping efforts have them too busy.

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It seems most Japanese parents consider a "Baby on Board" a more effective piece of safety equipment than a seatbelt or child seat.

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really stupid mother!

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Lucky I wasn't there to give medical aid because I would have been incapacitated with laughter.

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Motorists with no seatbelts, motorcyclists with tiny helments hanging off the back of their heads or not strapped at all, motorcyclists with dark visors smoking cigarettes, buses running red lights, cyclists on the wrong side of the road while texting on their keitais, cars blocking pedestrian crossings... and all that was on my cycle to work this morning. The only place I've ever seen more lax road safety awareness is Thailand.

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Why is this in the news? I thought this was common/typical... I only posted the other day that nearly every J family I see driving with their kids in the car, the kids are standing or playing in the rear without seat-belts. The only way this will change is if the government educates drivers and/or plays graphic videos of accidents during license renewals.. Without being educated, nothing will change. Without it, we will still hear the pathetic responses and excuses from parents when their kids are seriously hurt following an accident.

Remember, an accident is an unplanned event (that's why it's called an accident... You never know when it is going to occur) therefore the best protection you can afford your loved ones is to always be prepared, this means enforcing a strict seat-belt policy in your car without exception... This applies to adults and kids.

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I don't care that she wasn't buckled up. I spent my childhood years riding in a car without belts and I'm ok. But the stupidity to let the child play with the door lever and to fall out I would imagine meant that she was leaning against it to force it open in the turn. That is the stupid thing. For the most part any other time she'd be ok but letting the kid do that when you're not strapped in and leaning against the door is the dumb thing here. All you " I would never __ " types must have had a very protected childhood. I wouldn't now because it's the law but in the past didn't because it wasn't the law. This stupid woman just ignored the law and 99.9% would have been OK but with the ignoring that fact and having the kid do that really multiplies the stupidity.

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Actually now I think about it didn`t a similar thing happen in Osaka a few years ago? I heard about a car with 3 kids in the back, not strapped in and playing around and the youngest (I think he was 3) opened the door (no child lock) and fell out. He was killed by a truck coming from behind.

This makes my blood run cold now because in the 70`s we had no seatbelts, no child locks and regularly drove our parents crazy from the backseat. How on earth did we make it to adulthood???!

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The woman told police that her son had been playing with the door lever and lock

So she never put the child Lock on the door..its common knowledge when a kid is in the back seat u ought to engage child lock. Seat belts are an added safety aspect but child lock first!!!!

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Darwin award to this mum.

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Don't worry! We do this every day in our (stunt)men-only self-help group. It's not dangerous and you can train this very easily.

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The kid should have been in a child safety seat, isnt this the law? I see Japanese driving around all the time with kids without safety seats which is kind of amazing given their adversion to risk.

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I text and ride my bike, and have only been hit once. I do wear a seat belt when driving though and require everyone in my car to do so.

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Many Japanese people I know dont wear seatbelts when they sit in the back. They think that only the driver and person in shotgun should have to wear seatbelts. Gees, i hope this kind of thinking isnt the norm in Japan. There's a reason why we have seltbelts in the back... use them!! Recently, I went to get my japanese license renewed and had to sit through a 2-hour lecture/video about safe driving. In the video they showed how the driver got sandwiched to death between the steering wheel and the passenger not wearing a seat belt behind him. Ouch! I often see kids sitting in front on their moms laps without seat belts. Some of them even have their faces up against the windshield. People need a good dose of Newton's Laws. Natural laws dont care about the law or whether you get caught or not... they are always in effect.

Failure to wear seat belts is a ticking bomb waiting to explode.

I think we are just so used to going from point A to point B in a car and dont realize just how dangerous driving on the road is. A huge number of people die everyday in traffic accidents. Seat belts give us a better chance of survival.

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An accident that could have easily been avoided. Luckily, the woman and her child were not seriously injured. Just buckle up!!

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Wow how stupid and funny at the same time!

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I think there's a good chance the kid opened the door. I was driving a car down the freeway once in Japan, and the 4 year old (not mine, thankfully) in the back decided to spontaneously unlock and open the door! It was a rental car, and the child lock on that particular door was broken. He also unbuckled his own safety belt and start walking around in the back at various other times, just not at the same time he opened the door. Oh, he also obtained a box of matches from somewhere, proceeded to light one, burn his entire hand and almost set the car's interior alight. He spent the next 30 minutes screaming while I tried to find a medical center. Some Japanese parents are unbelievably slack when it comes to ANY kind of safety, especially for their own kids. Such a dilemma - should natural selection prevail?

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The japanese have some weird attitudes to road rules period.Cars seem to have right-of-way at pedestrian crossings (have nearly been hit so many times), parents riding scooters with their little kid standing up between their legs..no seatbelts and no baby-seats. and then you have the tradition of honour-seats in cars.Where the most important man sits..where the most expendable person sits (behind the driver from memory)..yet nobody wearing seatbelts.

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Last year I saw a mom driving while using a cell, smoking, and her kid on her lap. That compares with the guy who was riding a bicycle, using a cell, smoking, and holding an umbrella. He came around a blind corner and then proceeded to run into me.

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I'm amused by all the people quoting their childhood experiences of not wearing seat belts. So what! It's the law! And, maybe, just maybe, incidents like this are the reason they are required by law. Just maybe, hey?

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Ride goeth before the fall.

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I am amazed at the lack of enforcement of the rear seat belt law in this country. I hope they get fined for not wearing their belt.

We have a friend who is paranoid about her 5yo son dieing of swine flu yet drives around with her son standing between the drivers seat and the passenger seat - plain dumb!

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Stupid, stupid, stupid.

My mother wouldn't start the car unless everyone put their seatbelts on first, and neiher will I. I don't care who you are, you can get a different ride.

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For such a developed country common sense seems to be lacking at times. In UK front and rear passengers must wear seatbelts and child must be in child seat and yes it is enforced. The number of times i see mothers with babies on laps in front seat its a death wish.

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For such a developed country common sense seems to be lacking at times. In UK front and rear passengers must wear seatbelts and child must be in child seat and yes it is enforced. The number of times i see mothers with babies on laps in front seat its a death wish.

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Are car does not move until all seatbelts are on and my son is strapped in his car seat. Also my sons door has the child door lock turned on so he can not open it from the inside. Everyday here on Okinawa we see kids not in car seats or wearing their seatbelts, no common sense here.

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@JasUK - so true. When I was back there a few months ago the police did a spot-check of my car, not just to check the kids were in their car seats, but that they had the right TYPE of car seat for their age and height - also written into law. (not allowed booster seats until over 100 cms, seats must be age and weight specific, be fitted correctly, etc)

Everything was in order and the policeman thanked me for my time, and I said "No no, thank YOU because in Japan I never see this and it is refreshing to see the police actively trying to save lives."

Also in UK law - if you dont wear a seatbelt in the back of the car it is the driver that is penalised and fined. My Mum had terrible trouble with her Japanese homestay student (aged 64!) who refused to wear her seatbelt ("its uncomfortable")until Mum refused to drive her anywhere!

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In Holland if you are caught without a seat belt, you get a nice little fine to think over your stupidity

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I don't care that she wasn't buckled up. I spent my childhood years riding in a car without belts and I'm ok. Are you a representative sample Bushlover? Also, check the definition of 'survivor bias'. Where are all the people saying 'I spent my childhood years riding in a car without belts and I'm a vegetable/dead because I didn't use a seatbelt'?

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In Australia the law of wearing seat belts is so strict for every single person inside the car , and it places entire responsibility on the DRIVER! If your passenger don't wear seat belt, you(driver) will have to cope line hook sinker,the lot. Lucky for this woman and her child survived this time..hope they will automatically wear seat belts each and every time from now on.

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JasUK- For such a developed country common sense seems to be lacking at times.

Thanks for the chuckle. Developed country? Hilarious!

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wow what a bunch of idiots. They deserved to be hurt. 26, grow up, you are a MOTHER!!!!

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Well, this story proves that there are plenty of morons who don't use seatbelts. It also shows that some of them, go down to the next level of rock banging when they sayit's judgemental to criticise their non-use or try to call them a governmental "money maker". Ha!

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The law in my home province states any minor not buckled up will be fined at the driver's expense but those that are not minors face the fine themsleves because they should have known better. That law makes even more sense!!! Mind you I won't have someone sitting in my car that's not belted in because the last thing you need is somebody flying around while you're trying to avoid something like another car during hard braking and steering.

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Can I please step in here and ask why the mother allowed her child to play with the lock and door handle? There's a reason for things like child safety locks and windows, and that's so children -- who are naturally curious -- won't accidentally unlock the door or roll down the window and go tumbling out into traffic. If the car wasn't equipped with child safety features, then it's the mother's responsibility to tell her child NOT to play with the lock (let alone the lock AND the door handle!) and NOT to roll down the window further than a third of the way. This kind of negligence is triply stupid if your child isn't wearing a seatbelt, and astronomically more stupid if neither you nor your child is wearing a seatbelt AND the child is sitting in your lap. That kind of thing might be acceptable to an extent on airplanes, where seating is limited and airlines depend on adult fares to pay the bills, but in a car there's no excuse. It's the safety of your own child -- you should do everything you can to protect that.

Mind you, this isn't only a Japanese problem. People are stupid the world over with their children's safety: women smoking and drinking during pregnancy; a parent leaving a child unattended in a public venue; household cleaners left in easily accessible cupboards; the list goes on and on. Sometimes I'm amazed that so many children make it to adulthood when their parents are so cavalier with their offspring's safety.

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And my nephews complain when I force the issue. Aside from breaking the law, there is good reason to put on your seat belts. Perfect example right here. Fine if adults don't care about themselves but when a child is involved, it drives me up the wall at the irresponsibility that goes on.

Idiocy once again running rampant!

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Yes the mother is an idiot, but she is just one person out of a population of 130 million. So how do you posters come to your inane conclusion that she is in anyway representative of the Japanese people?

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[Are you a representative sample Bushlover?]

I guess you miss my point. It's not that this accident happened because she wasn't wearing the seatbelt. It happened because she was leaning against a door that a child was fooling around with the handle on. That in itself is just stupid.

Back when there weren't seat belt laws there were never these many kinds of accidents because people were generally more on the ball than they are today. Communication Breakdown has become a reality and it is costing society. Now we gotta make laws to protect the stupid people from themselves.

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bushlover at 05:32 AM JST - 19th September

I am a representative sample, but I’m not going to tell you of what, I leave you to happily guess about that. But do try not to be cruel or rude.

I think that there is something of the chicken or the egg thing here, are seat belts protecting people or making people less responsible for themselves? Me? I’m old enough to remember a time when the first thought of having seat belts in domestic cars hadn’t even been thought & having only ever had one near serious accident (a long slide on a Mini roof across a field) the belt didn’t help, if anything it made getting out seriously difficult. A few sharp stops while driving in cities taught me that seat belts are a very good idea, but then I had already learned to be responsible for myself & not blindly trust some added features. I do take my seat belt off when driving on motorways, & know many others that do the same. If you have ever had to stop & help at the scene of a crash you will know why, death is some times preferable. Simple reasoning here is that this woman, especially with the care of a child, was a total idiot. She managed to do just about everything wrong that could be done wrong.

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Yes the mother is an idiot, but she is just one person out of a population of 130 million. So how do you posters come to your inane conclusion that she is in anyway representative of the Japanese people?

Because we live here and see it every day. No doubt a reconstruction of this will be used in the driving license renewal videos in the future and I hope they are covering this on the Japanese news.

When I first started driving my wife around and she was in the back seat looking after the baby she would not wear her seat belt saying that if it was not law it must be safe. Then they introduced the law - but in the mean time I would not drive with her sitting behind me unbelted.

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grafton - Yes the mother is an idiot, but she is just one person out of a population of 130 million. So how do you posters come to your inane conclusion that she is in anyway representative of the Japanese people?

Grafton old bean, go for a walk outside right now and watch the traffic at the closest intersection for ten minutes then come back and tell us how many idiots you see not wearing seat belts, talking on their phones, speeding, driving recklessly and running red lights. Ten minutes should be plenty of time to see all of these several times.

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Lol this is funny.. glad they're ok.. im sure they'll know better next time!

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I guess this is news because it's so stupid. Who lets their child play with the door handle in a moving car?! Sure, not everyone wears a seat belt but--playing with the door handle when the car's moving ... this mother definitely gets the DUH award for today.

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Bushlover - "Back when there weren't seat belt laws there were never these many kinds of accidents because people were generally more on the ball than they are today"

The three point seatbelt is considered the single most important safety related development in cars, bar none. It's so important that Volvo (it was their guy that invented it) gave the design away for free. People werent more on the ball in years gone by, many believed they were safer if they were thrown clear of the vehicle. Thats not on the ball thinking, thats over confident and misinformed.

If I carry people in my car they wear a belt, front or back. Not because of the law, because as perfect as I consider my driving to be (dont we all?) I have no control over the others on the road. If theres an accident (they do happen), that unrestrained person in the back becomes a missile and if they hit a front seat passenger you are guaranteed serious injuries.

In my opinion its not just the woman in the back who was silly, the driver too was irresponsible. And for those who think its no-one's business but their own, well, who pays to pick up the pieces after a serious acident? We all do.

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A candidate for a Darwin award?

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I do take my seat belt off when driving on motorways, & know many others that do the same.

I don't know anyone stupid enough to remove the one piece of equipment most likely to save their life in a crash- how on earth can you justify it? Death is preferable to the bruised chest and bump on the head my brother got when he survived a high speed crash that killed the two others in the car who weren't wearing seatbelts? Try telling that to any of the families involved- I know I'm glad my parents drummed into us the need to wear seatbelts. I had no idea there were so many boneheaded people out there. Just incredible.

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Japanese dont wear seatbelts when sitting in the back seat. My friend made fun of me for putting my seat belt on :(

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"My friend made fun of me for putting my seatbelt on"

That's not your friend.

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"That's not your friend." Yah I lied. My fake friend.

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"Yah I lied. My fake friend."

You didn't lie. Your "friend" is a fake friend, though, for making fun of you for putting on your seatbelt.

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My friend made fun of me for putting my seat belt on :(

and you can make fun of him/her after he/she goes crashing through the windscreen.

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Not all Japanese are idiots, but when you go down and see how the natives of Osaka drive, it will surely make you think that most Japanese have no brains, like this idiot mother not wearing a seat belt and falling out of a car. My Chinese friend here in Japan, so far has not been injured and I tell him to buckle up, and he never tries putting the seat belt on his kid. I hope he reads this news from Osaka!

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sounds more like a bugs bunny cartoon than real life

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