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Conventionally, traffic safety education has been irrelevant to the perspectives of children. We learned that stop signs won’t enter the field of vision of children whose line of sight is low, and that they don’t recognize the meaning of ‘stop’ written on the road. I think it would be effective if we could put up stop signs using characters that attract their attention … at least on routes where they go to and from school.

12 Comments

Makoto Fujiu, an associate professor at Kanazawa University, Ishikawa Prefecture, who led a behavioral observation study showing that kindergartners fail to notice stop signs and have little understanding of such traffic commands painted on roads, making them vulnerable to accidents at intersections, a study showed.

© Asahi Shimbun

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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How about you just put some effort into teaching the kids what a stop sign is?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

One of the problems is that traffic signage and commands are designed primarily to be visible to automobile drivers, from their position, their perspective, and at their height. Look at the numbers painted on roads designating speeds: they're designed to be viewed from a moving car, and look ridiculously elongated from any other perspective.

Crosswalk lines and the lights above them are made for pedestrians, but little else.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One of the problems is that traffic signage and commands are designed primarily to be visible to automobile drivers, from their position, their perspective, and at their height. Look at the numbers painted on roads designating speeds: they're designed to be viewed from a moving car, and look ridiculously elongated from any other perspective.

When I was a kid, I didn't have a problem seeing road signs. If these Japanese little kids aren't being aware of their surroundings when they're walking outside, that's what needs attention.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Or educate drivers more?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Or educate drivers more?

True, but it's a lot easier to stop if you're a little kid walking than if you are driving a car at 35 miles an hour. The first thing that can save a kid from getting hit by a car is the kid.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I know this is irrelevant according to JT editors because it's not about Japan specifically, but when I was a first-grade student in another land one of the first things we were taught was what a stop sign was, what it meant, and why we should obey it. Plus, long before elementary school, we were taught to look both ways before crossing a street, always be aware of moving cars, and don't walk close to the curb.

I guess Japan could import these concepts, even if they are foreign.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The first thing that can save a kid from getting hit by a car is the kid.

The first thing that can save a kid from getting hit by a car is not driving.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

A stop sign is a sign for vehicles not pedestrians. They are invariably used in Japan to indicate "yusen" (right of way) at a junction.

I don't see how a pedestrian should cross the road is affected by a stop sign for cars. Pedestrians need to stop, look both ways, and walk not run across the road regardless of whatever signs there are for cars.

A child pedestrian who recognizes a zebra crossing as a pedestrian crossing and then uses the logic "I have right of way and all cars must stop if I step on this" will be run over by a car or truck within days, if not hours. Kids need real world smarts, not an understanding of traffic laws in Japan as written down.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I don't understand this logic. I learned what signs meant in Japan by the shape and color. I didn't need to know kanji to understand most of them and certainly not something as simple as a stop sign. As for the signs not being in a child's line of site, this is illogical too. You should be teaching children to look out for signs before they are right upon them, when they were truly not in their line of site. You can be short and still see an upcoming sign if you are taught to look up and be aware of your surroundings. By the logic of this quote, you wouldn't expect road signs to have any relevance to an illiterate person with dwarfism.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A study done on kindergarteners...

So in Japan, 3-5 year olds. If a 5 year old is out playing/walking by a road and gets hit by a car a lot (if not all) of the responsibility is on the parent.

Anyway, from what I can tell when my daughter learned traffic safety, they only learn to follow a set of really specific rules... at a zebra crossing you do this, at a light you do this, etc. But they didn't teach them anything about assessing a situation for safety, which is how I learned. Not all roads in Japan have a zebra crossings and definitely not all cars pay attention to traffic lights so kids need to be taught to assume all roads are dangerous at all times and to pay attention to their surroundings. Double up on that home safety education, you can't always assume that what they learn in school is sufficient.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is very strange. They are talking about kids that are too young to read, 2-5 year olds. At this age, the kids should not be in a situation where they have to understand what a stop sign is. They should be under supervision.

Japan needs to get with the rest of the world and adopt the familiar octagonal stop signs instead of the triangular ones. When I first went to Japan I seriously thought the triangular signs were 'Give Way' signs because I never saw anybody stop at them. Now, they have started putting STOP on the triangular signs in English, which helps everybody, except the kids who are getting run over by drivers who do not stop at stop signs. Instead of attempting little kids to comprehend what a red triangle means, they should be focussing on getting these rat bag drivers to stop. I always stop and count to three at stop signs, as is the law. However, quite a few times I've been abused for doing so and I even had one idiot swing around me and scream straight through the intersection. If they wanna save kids, they have to eradicate these losers who disregard stop signs. Teaching toddlers to read signs is absurd!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am glad someone is studying issues of child safety. Even if kids know the sign meaning they may act impulsively and lack caution and awareness of surroundings. I tend to think many drivers don't see stop signs as well.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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