Aichi Police Reimburse More Than 1 Million Yen In Fine To Drivers Who Violate A Stray Road Sign

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It’s the kind of news you only read in Monopoly.

Japan can be a difficult place to drive, and in fact sometimes even those responsible for issuing and enforcing the rules of the road can be confused at times.

For example, let’s take a look at this intersection here in Seto City, Aichi Prefecture.

It’s a bit of a mess. To start with, you have a main city road and a prefectural highway that intersect at a very sharp angle. On top of that, the freeway becomes one-way on the south side of the intersection, and just to make things even more complicated, there is a small conduit between the freeway and the main road, creating an A-shape. , but this small strip of road is only one way too.

So let’s say someone walks towards the intersection from the angle seen below and wants to turn right onto the freeway. They can’t use the small duct because it is one way in the opposite direction, so is it possible to make a very sharp right turn at the main intersection?

Earlier this year, an Aichi Prefecture police officer said “no” and demanded a sign posted prohibiting right turns. In August of this year, an official sign stating that traffic could only go left or right was hung, and for good measure, another larger, less formal sign was installed underneath to warn drivers that right turns weren’t allowed in large print, which really hit the nail on the head.

▼ A report showing the sign

Since, a total of 168 tickets were issued to motorists who nevertheless dared to turn right. It was not until November that another officer from the Traffic Control Division noticed the signs and that it was a mistake.

The general rule is that at intersections between city streets and freeways, cars should be allowed to enter the freeway from a right turn. The particular orientation of this intersection was apparently not a factor and therefore the signs were immediately removed.

As for the 168 people who received tickets, Aichi Prefecture Police officially apologized and promised to both cancel demerit points and refund all fines, totaling 1.14 million yen ($ 10,100).

However, this creates a sort of ethically nebulous situation in which news readers were widely divided on who to point the finger at.

“It never occurred to me that some road signs could be wrong. “
“So, technically, haven’t the police broken a traffic code? We should give them a ticket.
“What about the people who have suffered the most from the tickets, like those whose licenses have been revoked? How are they paid?
“Even if the rule was in error, the drivers still knowingly disobeyed the sign.”
“I wonder if the police handing out tickets took a moment to determine if the sign was correct. “
“These demerit points affect people’s confidence. Is everything going too?
“I would be furious if I had a ticket for this.”
“But they made ignore a sign telling them not to turn right.

Whether it is more of a question of reckless driving or police negligence probably boils down to each individual case, so it would appear that the Aichi Police chose to deal with it all in one fell swoop, no matter what. be the circumstances.

Still, anyone who’s ever secured a ticket will agree that the last thing you’d expect is a full refund and an apology for it. It’s about as likely as winning second place in a beauty pageant or getting a banking error in your favor.

Source: NHK Going through Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso (Published by SoraNews24)
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