Japan Coaxes Old Folks Off The Road

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
japan coaxes old folks off the road

While Japanese automakers try desperately to get more consumers into cars, other businesses are teaming up with police to lure senior citizens out of their vehicles. Reuters (via Yahoo News) reports that businesses are offering everything from higher interest rates at banks to free deliveries and meal discounts to seniors who voluntarily renounce their driving privileges. The effort comes as Japanese police try to curb the 100k accidents caused last year alone by Japan's massive over-65 population. "Have the courage to give up your licence," the police say on their website. "If you have lost confidence in your driving … if your family says they are worried about you driving … please think about handing in your license." I wonder if it would work here. Anything to get another stuck-at-40mph LeBaron off the road, eh?

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  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Apr 03, 2008
    BlueBrat : 65 is old? My parents are at this age or older, they are not slow turtles on the road. They are certainly aware in all regards and far from being inept. My father drives a cycle also. In fact, my mother gets away with speeding better than I do! She's probably better at charming the officer than you.
  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Apr 03, 2008

    This whole business is why I'm beginning to hope that they do get self-driving cars, much as I abhor the idea. In most parts of this country, it is really tough not to have a car. I also like the idea of having O plates for people whose driving is getting slow (like the L plates in our Mother Country), so others will know to cut them some slack. I do know people in their 80s who do fine behind the wheel. My uncle still drives (in Brooklyn and Manhattan no less) and still plays squash at 85.

  • Pete_S4 Pete_S4 on Apr 03, 2008

    Dementia and other similar conditions is certainly an issue. However I'd submit the bigger issues are pride and/or a desire not to be a burden that keeps many people from admitting they've become dangerous to others on the road. I can't really blame these people either. It's hard to let go of that independence and self-sufficiency. For people that are frequently losing loved ones, body functions, stamina, and so on; it's just one more thing forcing you to admit you are getting old. I can admit I'm not always patient with some slower drivers on the road. But it helps to remember that what they are going through is the equivalent of us being thrown in the middle of a NASCAR race everytime we just simply want to drive down the street.

  • 50merc 50merc on Apr 03, 2008

    Say, Niedermeyer, when that fellow in the picture decides to give up his classic Mustang, could you let him know I'd be interested in it?