Police in Japan cracking down on unsafe driving
July 3, 2007
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE — If your driving instincts tell you to hit the gas when you see a traffic light turn yellow, the middle of July might be a good time to discover the joys of public transportation.
According to Yokosuka Naval Base Safety Officer “Lucky” Hawkins, the Kanagawa Prefecture Police will conduct a 10-day traffic safety campaign starting July 11.
The focus of the initiative is to slow traffic throughout the region, especially on Highway 16, and make drivers more alert, Hawkins said.
Police will stake out intersections during morning and evening rush hours to enforce traffic laws, he said.
“You have to always be mindful that you are a guest, and that your Y-plates are noticed,” Hawkins said. “Your actions directly contribute to our relationship with the Japanese.”
Hawkins added that police will be on lookout for drunken drivers and will have sobriety check points set up.
“If you are on the bottle, you are off the road,” Hawkins warned.
A Kanagawa Prefecture police spokesman in Yokosuka city said the annual campaign is intended to curb a seasonal increase in traffic accidents.
“Accidents tend to increase during the summer season,” said Masaaki Kikuchi, an assistant police inspector. “Schools are off and children are out on streets for longer hours.”
The campaign is to kick off at 2 p.m. on July 11. Informative fliers and token gifts will be handed out to people at the base’s main gate.
“It’s important to know and be respectful of Japanese traffic laws,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Terry, with Yokosuka’s personnel support detachment. “It’s easy to get into an accident around here. This isn’t like driving back in States.”
Stars and Stripes reporter Chiyomi Sumida contributed to this report.
Violations Japanese police will target: