Designated driver service to start on U.S. Bases
A designated driver service, commonly known as “Daiko” service will expand to on bases, effective February 1.
According Japan Driving Service Association (JDA), Okinawa Branch, which is a cover organization for individual daiko companies, the association has reached an agreement with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) to start the designated driver service covering all U. S. military bases on Okinawa. The service is available on the main island of Okinawa.
The agreement is a result of negotiations with AAFES last October, and aims to reduce DUI incidents involving U.S. military. Up to now, daiko service has been available only off-base.
The designated driver service is the first in Japan, but AAFES has indicated it’s willing to expand the service to all U.S. bases in Japan, and is currently proceeding with the plan in Kanagawa Prefecture.
Out of 15 designated driver service companies who are members of the JDA Okinawa Branch, some 30 cars of six companies have been approved for a permit to enter the U.S. base areas. An additional nine companies will finish the application process during February, bringing the total to about 70 cars for the service. More will be considered as needed.
JDA Okinawa Branch has set two special telephone lines for the service at their own expense. English speaking operators will be available seven days a week from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. to answer customer calls. AAFES will publicize the telephone numbers to personnel on the bases.
JDA has set the price of the service is at uniform ¥1,600 within two kilometers with ¥200 added for every additional kilometer. The fare must be paid in yen in cash, although the association has a plan to accept credit cards and drive recorders in the future.
Representatives of the six companies who are scheduled to start the service took part in the orientation on Kadena Base on Jan. 11, to learn about the specific traffic rules on the bases.
The chairman of JDA Okinawa Branch said, “There are a large number of designated driver service companies on Okinawa, but many of them do not belong to JDA. We would like more companies to join us to reduce illegal taxi services.”