Driver's License Surrenders Surge in Japan after Deadly Accident

Society

Tokyo, Sept. 3 (Jiji Press)--Voluntary driver's license surrenders in Japan have surged in number since a runaway car driven by an elderly man killed a mother and her daughter and injured nine others in Tokyo in 2019.

On Thursday, the 90-year-old driver, Kozo Iizuka, was sentenced to five years in prison. The 2019 tragedy raised public interest in accidents involving elderly drivers.

The number of people who voluntarily surrendered their driver's licenses in 2019 rose by about 180,000 from the previous year to a record of about 600,000, according to data compiled by the National Police Agency. Drivers aged 75 or older accounted for some 60 pct of the total.

In 2020, the total number of surrenders fell to about 550,000, presumably because the COVID-19 pandemic discouraged people, especially elderly drivers, from visiting authorities to have their licenses canceled.

In December 2019, eight months after the accident, an NPA-appointed panel of experts proposed measures to prevent accidents involving elderly drivers. The measures included requiring elderly drivers to pass skill tests to get their licenses renewed.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press