Japan - Drivers License, Deaths and Injuries

Danny Choo is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. Danny resides in Tokyo, and blogs about life in Japan and Japanese subculture - he also works part time for the empire.
dannychoo_traffic.jpg These numbers can be seen at every Koban (police box) throughout Japan and show how many people got injured or died in traffic accidents. 166 people were injured yesterday. 4 people have died so far this year and 1675 people have been injured. Photo taken when I went to get my drivers license renewed - you can read about the process in my Japan Drivers License article where I also talk about the incredibly depressing video that they show you before the license is issued - and before watching the video, the officer says that if you fall asleep while watching then no license for you ;-)


  1. I too am a victim of the depressing Japanese Licence Renewal video. Even though my Japanese isn’t great the universal language of uncontrolled sobbing broke through the barrier and I left the room with a new licence and heavy heart.

    I’ve always wondered what those numbers on the Koban sign meant, so thanks. I knew they meant deaths and injuries from something or other, but I never remembered to ask anyone about it.

  2. As a kid in the late 60’s/early 70’s I remember visiting relatives in Roanoke, VA. and seeing the Mill Mountain star lit in red when someone died in traffic that day — made a big impression on me as I’m sure it did many as the star is visible throughout much of the valley.


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