NEWS

Japan Bribing Seniors Off the Road

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And you thought Florida was bad.

Japan has one of the most rapidly aging populations of any country in the developed world, and one way this has affected the Japanese is on the road. While traffic accidents have fallen 20% in the past six years, Japan has seen a 35% balloon in accidents involving drivers over the age of 70.

What’s a country to do?

Crain’s News Service recently reported that Japan has decided to try to lure seniors into parting with their driver’s licenses voluntarily by offering the nation’s elderly certain incentives. The government has recruited several dozen businesses to offer rewards to seniors, including discounts at restaurants and hotels, home delivery from an upscale department store, and reduced interest rates at a local bank. Even a 10% discount at Dominos’s Pizza can be theirs — all they have to do is hand over that license.

On the other hand, the elderly are the one population segment in Japan that’s still growing. Watch for automakers’ sales to suffer if this trend catches on. What do you think? Is it appropriate for a city or state to bribe seniors into relinquishing their primary means of transportation?

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