Japan has worked very hard to prepare for the Olympics, and a whole host of changes have been made in an attempt to help tourists adjust, from overhauling the icons on the map to lifting restrictions on bathers. tattooed.
Another way the country is preparing for an influx of tourists is to review road safety. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructures and Transport works in coordination with the police, tourist offices and car rental associations, and by analyzing data from recorders on board rental cars, they can identify areas where a sudden braking occurs as potentially dangerous for foreign visitors.
With this sophisticatedly acquired information, these groups can take specific action to combat crashes involving foreign drivers. So what steps are taken?
The friendly deer bear pink sticker in the photo above reads “A stranger is driving”.
Yes, a new trend of “Stranger Driving” stickers is gaining ground among car rental associations nationwide. They’ve been in use in Okinawa and Hokkaido for quite some time and let everyone on the road know you’re not from here, or in the words of the Okinawa Rental Car Association, “to show that the driver is a foreigner who is not used to the traffic rules of Japan.
We should all read “show” to mean “roughly assume” in this case, and what other drivers are supposed to do differently with this information is up to you. It’s kind of like when Marge Simpson bought a Baby on Board sticker to stop people from intentionally crashing into the family car.
Norimono News asked the Okinawa Rental Car Association if crashes involving foreign drivers are on the increase. They said that while serious accidents have not increased, there has been an increase in minor bumps and scrapes. Okinawa reported a 300% increase in such crashes from 2014 to 2016.
That sounds like a lot, but considering that the overall population of foreign drivers in Japan increased by 400% between 2011 and 2015, there doesn’t appear to be any particular increase in foreign-related traffic at all. There is simply more out there.
The desire for stickers, however, is not surprising, Japan is a country that loves stickers and already affixes specials to vehicles owned by the elderly and newly licensed drivers. And unlike these, foreign stickers are not required by law.
In addition, they are in fact removable “magnet stickers”. Indeed, the message “A stranger leads” means different things to different people. For example, for a thief, it means: “This driver probably has a lot of money and personal belongings inside. Or for a right-wing ultranationalist, that means: “Please degrade this car”.
Nonetheless, despite their specious benefits and increased risks to the user, these stickers are gaining traction and could be seen nationwide in the near future.
Source: Norimono News, Response
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