Man caught driving wrong way on expressway said he was going back the way he came

TOKYO —

On Sept 22 at around 10:40 a.m., a 77-year-old man was caught driving at high speed in the wrong direction along the Takamatsu Expressway in Kagawa Prefecture. According to police, the unidentified man was trying to retrace his steps after traveling one kilometer the wrong way.

The man reportedly said he was trying to return to his home in Kochi Prefecture but missed the off-ramp. After driving about a kilometer too far he stopped at Toyohama Service Area to regain his bearings. Then, realizing his mistake, he followed the same path back to the junction.

Unfortunately, he followed it too closely and was driving in the exact same lane but facing the opposite way. During this trip, an accident was caused involving cars driven by a 60-year-old woman and 36-year-old man. The woman driver had to stop suddenly to avoid the backwards driver and was rear-ended by the younger male driver.

According to the police, the man later said he “didn’t notice” he was going in the wrong direction. 

Source: Yomiuri Online

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  • 2

    TheDevilsAssistant

    the man later said he “didn’t notice” he was going in the wrong direction.

    LoL!!! The quote of the day!

  • 1

    SenseNotSoCommon

    Without the tolls, we'd have much, much more of this.

  • 4

    spudman

    Goodbye license. Thankfully no one died.

  • -2

    heretoolong

    So, what are they taught again at the "driving centers" as they pay some 20Man plus for a license again??? Or, is this just a case of extreme stupidity?

  • 1

    spudman

    The dude was 77, he has had a license for nearly 60 years.

  • 3

    browny1

    I have lived in Kagawa for many years and the lack of common sense on the roads is numbing.

    It's the worst prefecture pro-rata for road accidents, road deaths, bicycle accidents and close to worst for pedestrians.

    Road users seem to operate in a bubble, completely oblivious to others.

    The above story is hardly remarkable at all - sadly.

  • 4

    DudeDeuce

    I have no idea how I would react seeing a car driving at me head-on on the highway.

  • 2

    NeonFraction

    I... this is one of the strangest things I've read all day.

  • 3

    John Occupythemoon Daly

    Man caught driving wrong way on expressway said he was going back the way he came

    I can't really fault that logic...

  • 1

    afanofjapan

    I can only imagine the road was completely desserted, and being a bit old, he forgot he was on a tollway, and thought it was just a regular road. I am guessing he was on the left-hand lane, doing 40-50km hr when he realised cars were going the other way

  • 1

    Mocheake

    Before I read the story, I guessed the driver's age. I was over by three years.

  • 2

    ambrosia

    Unfortunately, he followed it too closely and was driving in the exact same lane but facing the opposite way. During this trip, an accident was caused involving cars driven by a 60-year-old woman and 36-year-old man. The woman driver had to stop suddenly to avoid the backwards driver and was rear-ended by the younger male driver.

    This whole paragraph is just plain awkward and confusing. Was the man actually driving his car backwards or driving in the opposite direction of traffic?

  • 2

    presto345

    Wrong-way driving happens all over the world. Not only in Japan. In Europe they call these drivers ghost drivers in some places. My dad voluntarily quit driving when 75 before he did something from where there was no return. But not everyone gives up so easily.

  • 2

    dbsaiya

    Presto345, hats off to your father, that was very wise and courageous. I hope I have the common sense to do the same when my time comes.

  • 1

    lostrune2

    If ya guys look at the picture at the source:

    http://sociorocketnewsen.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/800px-takamatsu_expressway_near_mt-mutsumeyama.jpg

    It's all white lines.

  • 0

    TSRnow

    This happens so often. Maybe they could put up another sign on the back of the blue ones showing the destination saying "YOU'RE GOING THE WRONG WAY!!"

    Or a simple u-turn arrow may do the trick like in those Mario Cart games. When you go in the wrong direction, the fellow on the cloud follows you with this sign.

  • 2

    Frungy

    During this trip, an accident was caused involving cars driven by a 60-year-old woman and 36-year-old man. The woman driver had to stop suddenly to avoid the backwards driver and was rear-ended by the younger male driver.

    ... the old guy wasn't responsible for the accident, the male driver was 100% responsible for not having an adequate following distance. The woman could have stopped for any number of legitimate reasons.

  • -2

    CrazyJoe

    Unless it causes an accident, driving the wrong way on an expressway is not a traffic violation in Japan. (no fines, no demerit points).

  • 2

    knowitall

    This whole paragraph is just plain awkward and confusing. Was the man actually driving his car backwards or driving in the opposite direction of traffic?

    Checking Japanese sources, you see that he was merely going the wrong way.

  • 0

    Elbuda Mexicano

    Some of these old geezer HAVE NO BUSINESS being behind the wheel of cars and sorry not even on bicycles! They are just way too far out in space for their own good and OURS!

  • 1

    BodyBoardBabe

    Would have been scarier if at night.

  • 0

    knowitall

    Unless it causes an accident, driving the wrong way on an expressway is not a traffic violation in Japan. (no fines, no demerit points).

    Wrong! 9000 yen and 2 points (for passenger car). Penalty for driving the wrong direction is not limited to expressways. Same applies for driving on the right side of the center line. (Article 17 of the road traffic law) What is your source for saying this is not a violation??

  • 0

    ambrosia

    knowitall: Checking Japanese sources, you see that he was merely going the wrong way.

    Thanks.

  • 2

    Himajin

    I saw it happen with my own eyes the weekend before last, I was going to bring MIL her Keiro no Hi flowers and I went up the Awaji onramp and headed up the curve to the toll booths....looked over to my right and there was an older man and his wife heading to the toll booths on the other side of the barrier. I was just about to honk when I saw that they realized they were in the wrong side of the road. I motioned to them that they should move to the left, and they saw the gap before the tool booth and came over onto the correct side.

  • 1

    TokyoGas

    I have witnessed a driver going the wrong way on a freeway and it is scary as frack!

  • 2

    iskysong

    in this case, either

    1) he should be reversing his car backward instead......!!! or

    2) he should be back to driving learners school......!!!

  • 0

    Elbuda Mexicano

    @Himajin, you may have just saved somebody's life! Good on you!

  • 0

    Gobshite

    Here we go again, 77 year old causing accidents, mayhem, is national news, 27 year old man would be in the crime section. Remember this post it will be deleted by the morning I suspect. Something really needs to be done here about these old farts driving, I see this nonsense on a daily basis, not just on the highway, but in the inaka.

  • -1

    Ali Khan

    presto345; your father took a sensible decision for quitting the driving, but i think there is no age limit in japan for driving or even for heavy or dangerous work at same places, i have seen senior citizens at work places, which is never suit them. But you know this is a trend establish by the Authority to push senior citizens and even housewives to the work poll.

  • 0

    Himajin

    Himajin, you may have just saved somebody's life! Good on you!

    They looked so frightened...anything to help.

  • 0

    ambrosia

    Going backward and going the wrong way don't equal the same thing. I could be driving backward, with the car moving rear end first, but still be moving in the same direction as the other cars.

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