Japan Lower House Approves Road Rage Bill

Politics

Tokyo, May 28 (Jiji Press)--Japan's House of Representatives passed on Thursday a bill to crack down on forms of road rage currently not covered by a law on punishments for dangerous driving.

The bill was approved unanimously at a plenary meeting of the lower chamber of the Diet, the country's parliament, and was sent to the House of Councillors, the upper chamber. The legislation is expected to be enacted during the ongoing Diet session.

A provision in the current law prohibits cutting in on or approaching other vehicles for the purpose of blocking them. However, the clause applies only if the vehicle is driven at a high speed that could pose a serious danger to the traffic, meaning that the act of stopping vehicles in front of others to force them to stop or drive slowly is not covered under the law.

The bill seeks to do away with the speed requirement for the act on expressways. For general roads, the act will be punishable if the victim is moving above a certain speed.

Road rage became a major social issue in Japan, following a fatal accident in 2017 in which a married couple were stopped by a reckless driver on the Tomei Expressway in Kanagawa Prefecture, eastern Japan, and died after being rear-ended by a truck.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press