Police to start cracking down on drivers’ sunshades
The Okinawa Prefectural Police announced that it would commence a crack down campaign on sunshades and other objects covering driver’s side windows or windscreen.
By law, drivers can’t cover the driver’s side window and front passenger window with some kind of shade like a curtain, sunshade or towel while driving. That’s a violation of the Road Traffic Law. Up to now, Police have just issued warnings to drivers not to put anything on the window, and when caught, let them off after ordering removing the object.
The reason for tightening the control is that the number of fatal traffic accidents in 2013 increased to 52 from 40 fatalities in 2012. Covering windows is not always the reason for an increase in accidents, however, “But It has the potential to lead to accidents under the situation of poor visibility,” an official with the Prefectural Police explains. On the other hand, a delivery truck driver who usually uses a sunshade on his driver’s window claims, “There’s nothing wrong with the visibility. I have never felt in danger because of a sunshade. Is there really need for this policy?”
The penalty for a big and middle size car drivers is ¥7,000, while drivers of standard-size cars are fined ¥6,000. The penalty point is one point. People can use sunshade on the windows of the backseat. A big sun visor worn by the driver covering the face also constitutes a violation. The official insists, “It is necessary for each driver to be conscious of road safety.”