OSAKA — Following a spate of significant site visitors accidents throughout Japan involving aged drivers, the federal government is stepping up countermeasures, selling the unfold of automobiles geared up with computerized braking, amongst different initiatives.
Whereas the variety of aged folks voluntarily returning their licenses is growing, vehicles stay indispensable for day by day life in some areas. Specialists accordingly underscore the necessity to create environments the place folks can get round with no automotive.
In line with the Nationwide Police Company, there have been 333 deadly accidents nationwide attributable to drivers aged 75 and over in 2020, accounting for 13.8% of the full.
In Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district in April 2019, the aged retired head of the Company of Industrial Science and Know-how of the previous Ministry of Worldwide Commerce and Trade precipitated a automotive accident that killed a mom and her daughter and injured 9 others. The person was sentenced to 5 years’ imprisonment. When he was taken into custody, he admitted that he had confused the brake and accelerator. In June the identical yr, a minivan driver in his 80s sped the fallacious method by means of an intersection within the metropolis of Fukuoka. Ten folks have been caught within the ensuing accident, which additionally claimed the lives of the driving force and his spouse.
Countermeasures towards accidents by aged drivers are a urgent problem. Whereas the federal government is looking for aged drivers to return their licenses, it should require new mannequin vehicles to be fitted with computerized braking techniques from this month. In Might 2022, drivers aged 75 and over who’ve over a sure stage of site visitors violations on their report will likely be required to go a sensible take a look at when renewing their license. A restricted license system that enables drivers to drive provided that the automobile is fitted with protected driving help expertise may also be launched.
Seiji Abe, a professor at Kansai College who focuses on site visitors security, commented, “There are particular person variations, however folks’s consideration and response pace decline with age, so refraining from driving a automotive will result in accident prevention.”
Many aged folks, nonetheless, reside in areas the place there are not any supermarkets or hospitals close to their houses, and for them, their vehicles are an indispensable a part of day by day life. To forestall accidents whereas sustaining comfort for such folks, Abe stated, “Along with the unfold of vehicles fitted with units to stop them from mistakenly accelerating, there is a want for native our bodies and different organizations to proactively improve transportation companies going round these native areas.”
(Japanese unique by Ryoko Kijima, Osaka Metropolis Information Division)