Unlicensed drivers face heavier penalty


The National Police Agency plans to seek a Road Traffic Law revision to impose heavier penalties for unlicensed driving, following a fatal car accident caused by a boy without a license in Kameoka, Kyoto Prefecture, in April, sources said.

Under the NPA plan, unlicensed drivers would face a jail term of up to three years or a fine of up to ¥500,000, against the current maximum penalty of a one-year prison term or ¥300,000 fine, the sources said.

Relatives of the victims of the Kameoka accident are calling for penalties under the law to be toughened.

In the accident, the unlicensed driver ran into a group of elementary school children, killing three people — two kids and a pregnant woman — and injuring seven others.

The NPA also plans to include in the law a new clause banning people from letting those who do not have a driver’s license from using their cars and riding in vehicles driven by unlicensed drivers, according to the sources.