Well, it looks as though Japan has had one of its best years on record for traffic safety, witht he national road death toll below 7000 for the first time in nearly fifty years! I am a little surprised, but glad to hear the news.

Why surprised? Despite the fact that there are (apparently) laws, no matter where you go in Japan there are people flagrantly breaking them. Not wearing seat belts is my pet hate. Sometimes it seems like nearly 1 in 3 drivers – and a lot of passengers too – aren’t wearing any kind of protection while in their cars. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched reports about fatal crashes on the news and there’s been a tell-tale hole in the front windscreen.

Not only are drivers and passengers not wearing belts, but the kids too – especially children – are in the backseats, or on their parents’ laps while not wearing anything to stop them from dying. That really gets my goat. It’s a form of child abuse, in my opinion.

I have a friend who was nearly knocked off his motorbike by some moron woman driving her 4WD while talking on her mobile phone and looking the wrong way. I suspect most of us who ride bikes have simialr stories to tell. I’m glad to say (while frantically touching anything made of wood) that I haven’t yet.

I’m planning to go for a ride later, so wish me luck!