Back to School


Monday, the 3rd of September was ‘Back to School‘ day for most children in Japan. With very little in the way of lessons taught, activities for the day comprised mainly on safety.

With so much time and effort going into Earthquake drills – and rightly so, it’s a shame that more time isn’t spent educating about the rules of the road and how to obey them. No drills here, just a neat little A4 plastic folder designed like a comic book highlighting the mannerisms…!

Quite the contrary to ourselves growing up in the UK, where it was common to see adverts regularly on the TV, such as this high impact and rather garish 30~40 second advert, that literally made you ‘think’.

This would naturally filter down from parent to child, with those of us who had stubborn parents refusing to start the engine until all seatbelts were fastened. No exceptions.

Fast-forward to today, the frequency with which how many children, adults and elderly alike buckle up only when in the front is quite amazing! To quote a phrase, ‘If we had a pound for every time…

So, What does the law say?

Not a lot really.

In 2008, the law was rectified to make it mandatory for passengers seated in the rear to wear a seatbelt, however no fines are issued to those not complying. Drivers would however receive one penalty point on their license if the offence was committed on Japan’s motorway network.

Things you will get fined for!

  • Speeding Fine ¥9,000 ~ ¥35,000
  • Using a Mobile Phone ¥9,000
  • Overtaking Infringement ¥9,000
  • Obstructing a Zebra Crossing ¥9,000
  • Jumping a Red Light ¥9,000
  • No use of indicators (turn-light signal) ¥6,000
  • No Headlights ¥6,000
  • Failed Odomoter ¥4,000
  • Not Displaying a Beginners Disc ¥4,000
  • Not carrying your License ¥3,000



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