October 29th 2019
TOKYO – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instructed relevant cabinet ministers on Tuesday to accelerate work toward introducing a “limited” driver’s license that will allow holders to drive only vehicles with safety support functions.
The government hopes to put the move into practice by the end of March 2020. The planned launch of the limited license is designed to prevent car accidents resulting from elderly drivers mistaking the accelerator for the brake or making other driving errors, after a spate of such accidents occurred in Japan recently.
“We need to spread vehicles equipped with automatic brakes and functions to curb acceleration when the accelerator is pressed mistakenly for the brake,” Abe said at the day’s meeting of a future investment panel he chairs.
The government plans to help promote the launch of vehicles equipped with latest safety features for elderly drivers.
According to the government, the number of fatal car accidents caused by elderly drivers was double that of accidents triggered by younger drivers last year. Data from the secretariat of the panel show that the number of fatal accidents per 100,000 driver’s license holders aged 75 or over stood at eight last year, higher than 3.4 per 100,000 younger holders of the license.