Tuesday, 25 November 2008

A sign of age

Drivers in Japan from their 75th birthday need to display a momiji (Japanese maple leaf) sign of autumnal red and gold on the windscreen or on the back of the car whenever they get behind the wheel. There is no rule as to where the sign should be put which means that it can get overlooked. Presumably the thinking is that, like learners, elderly drivers need to be identified so that the other road users will drive more defensively. There will come a time if it hasn't already when momiji signs considerably outnumber learner signs as the elderly have perhaps 15 to 20 years to display whilst learners are usually finished within six months.

As the display of these signs will be soon compulsory it will be interesting to see if "age discrimination" issues arise or whether insurance is declared invalid if an elderly person has an accident when no momoji sign is displayed.

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