Japan Offers Senior Drivers Cheap Ramen if They'll Give Up Licenses

While its methods are slightly odd, Japan might be on to something. With a disproportionate number of Japanese citizens over the age of 75 (4.8 million, which is an increase from 2.4 million about a decade ago), the country is seeing more car accidents being caused by elderly drivers.

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As an incentive to get older drivers to forfeit their licenses, Aichi (in central Japan) is offering people discounts on ramen noodles.

From The Guardian:

Local media reported that older drivers in Aichi are now entitled to ramen discounts after presenting their driving record certificate, which they receive from police in return for handing in their licence.

A set meal of ramen, rice and salad costs just 500 yen (£3.60), a 15% discount.

Other parts of the prefecture are using similar incentives, including discounts at sento public baths, barbers and chemists, plus lower taxi fares.

While such a move might cause a chuckle, it could save lives. “This month, an 83-year-old woman lost control of her car and accidentally accelerated, killing two pedestrians. At the end of October, an 87-year-old man driving a truck hit a group of children as they were walking to school, killing a six-year-old boy.”

America often sees similar issues with its elderly drivers, but since more than 25% of Japan’s population is over the age of 65, the situation is much more dire there.

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