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Police say drunk driving on increase

Date Posted: 2002-05-23

Okinawa Prefecture has long held the dubious record of having most drunk drivers per capita in the nation, and the statistics are growing worse, according to a published police report. According to the report, 34.7 percent of fatal traffic accidents in Okinawa involve alcohol. That’s almost 2.5 times the national average.

“It seems to be extremely hard for Okinawan people to realize that drinking and driving is a serious offense that causes serious damage, injury and even death, and police takes such offenses extremely seriously” a police spokesman said when publishing the report. “People don’t seem to have taken note that traffic rules changed from April 1, and the fine for drinking and driving can be as high as ¥500,000, not to mention that the offender can lose his or her driving license.”

Another new traffic rule that has gone with little public notice requires fellow citizens to assist disabled people who are trying to cross the street. Anyone who fails to escort or otherwise assist a disabled person across the street can be fined if the disabled person has an accident.

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