• Kyodo


A former bus driver with Nagoya Railroad Co. who was found to have been driving with an expired license at the time of a minor traffic mishap in February was arrested Tuesday for alleged traffic law violations.

Another bus driver whose name was used by the railway, commonly known as Meitetsu, when it reported the incident to police and transport authorities was also arrested on suspicion of harboring a criminal, local police said.

Meitetsu’s headquarters in Nagoya was also searched by police in connection with the coverup.

The accident occurred on Feb. 19. A Meitetsu bus in the city of Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, was bumped from behind by a car as it was leaving a bus stop. The bus driver was not aware of the impact, however, and continued on his route.

Police were notified of the accident by the motorist in the car, but because the 37-year-old bus driver did not have a valid license, his superiors at the Okazaki bus depot falsified their report to authorities and claimed another driver was behind the wheel at the time.

The driver submitted his resignation the following day and left the firm on March 5.

The coverup came to light during an internal probe earlier this month, and Meitetsu made the incident public Friday.

Police said they were still investigating to learn the extent of involvement of the company and the drivers’ superiors at the depot.

Meitetsu issued a statement later Tuesday saying it takes the arrests seriously and will make efforts to regain the public’s trust as swiftly as possible.

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