A funeral company in Japan is giving a 15 per cent discount to drivers over 75 who give up driving. Family members also get the discount. The road-safety strategy is backed by the local police. Seniors must give their driving licence to the police to get a document that proves they are no longer allowed to drive. Similar schemes in Japan have included cut-price taxi fares, discounts on public baths and cheaper noodles.
This strategy is another attempt to cut the large number of traffic accidents involving seniors. Almost five million seniors drive in Japan. This is double the number from 10 years ago. The number of fatal accidents involving elderly drivers was 7.7 per cent in 2007. Last year, this number jumped to 13.2 per cent. Some of those accidents were because seniors mistook the accelerator for the brake pedal, or mistakenly put their car into reverse.