There is new road-safety strategy in central Japan to encourage elderly drivers to stop driving. company that operates 89 funeral homes is offering 15 per cent discount on funeral services to any driver over age of 75 who surrenders their driving licence. discount also applies to family members of those relinquishing their licence. scheme has full backing of local police force. Drivers must visit police station to hand in their licence. Police officers then provide document, which elderly person hands to funeral home as proof they that are no longer allowed to drive. Similar schemes in Japan have included cut-price taxi fares, discounts on entry to public baths and cheaper noodles.
The latest initiative is further attempt to reduce number of traffic accidents involving seniors, which is becoming serious problem in Japan. There are almost 5 million licence holders in Japan over age of 75. This is double number from decade ago. In that same period, there has been increase in the number of fatal collisions involving elderly drivers. Drivers aged 75 or older accounted for 13.2 per cent of fatal traffic accidents in central Japan's Aichi Prefecture last year. This is up from 7.7 per cent in 2007. Aichi police say some of those accidents involved seniors confusing accelerator and brake pedals or mistakenly putting vehicle into reverse.