Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Actor Ryotaro Sugi, 74, voluntarily gave up his driver’s license to the Metropolitan Police Department in Tokyo, after a recent string of major traffic accidents caused by elderly drivers.
Sugi visited the MPD’s Samezu driver’s license center in Shinagawa Ward to return his license, calling on other elderly drivers to follow suit.
“Automobiles are dangerous objects,” Sugi said. “If you feel you are becoming slower to react, it’s best to consider your life and return your license before you hurt someone.”
When he last renewed his license, at the age of 70, he decided to make no further renewals, according to the actor.
“As you age, changes to your health can occur within a few years,” Sugi said. “Even if you’re fine when you renew your license, things can go downhill after a year or two.”
In Japan last year, there were 460 fatal traffic accidents caused by automobiles driven by people aged 75 or over, the third-highest figure in the past decade, according to the National Police Agency.
The number of driver’s licenses returned voluntarily by those aged 75 or over in 2018 came to 292,089, an annual record high.
In Tokyo in April this year, a car driven by an 88-year-old man hit and killed a woman, 31, and her 3-year-old daughter.