Japanese police work to improve traffic safety

Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Tuesday, March 31, 2009
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Whether you’re in Misawa, Yokosuka or Kadena, if you’re an unsafe driver or bicyclist, the Japanese National Police are looking for you.
On Monday, the JNP will be conducting its Spring Traffic Safety Campaign, a nationwide effort to inform the public about traffic safety rules and to crack down on those breaking them.
"You’ll see a lot more police on the roads and a lot more patrols," said Joe Tenis, deputy provost marshal for U.S. Forces Japan.
The campaign, which runs through April 15, will focus on correct seat-belt usage by all drivers and passengers, proper use of child seats, and eradicating drunken driving, according to a news release by the Central Traffic Safety Measures Conference.
"[Kanagawa Prefecture] had the worst drinking and driving accident record nationwide in February," said Sumihiko Yoneyama, Kanagawa Prefectural Police’s traffic management division official. "I’d like everyone to not ever drink and drive."
Tenis said police will increase DUI and vehicle paperwork checkpoints and will focus on ensuring bicycle riders are obeying the rules of the road.
Police officers also will stand at intersections to point out safety measures to pedestrians, Yoneyama said, and visit schools to teach safety rules.