Japan will re-examine school routes throughout the country to check for dangerous areas following a crash in Chiba Prefecture earlier this week that left two schoolchildren dead and injured three others, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday.
Suga unveiled the plan at a meeting of relevant Cabinet ministers on traffic safety policies.
In the accident, which occurred on Monday, a truck ran into a line of elementary school children who were walking home from school in the city of Yachimata, Chiba Prefecture. Two were killed, one was left in a critical condition and two were severely injured.
“We will conduct thorough inspections of school routes so that such a tragic accident will never happen again,” Suga said.
He asked the ministers to review existing safety measures for children, as well as expand and improve such policies.
The alcohol level detected in the breath of the 60-year-old driver of the truck that caused the accident, Hiroshi Umezawa, was found to exceed the legal limit.
“Drunk driving is an extremely malicious and dangerous act that directly leads to serious accidents,” Suga said.
Police arrested Umezawa on the spot on suspicion of negligent driving resulting in injury. On Wednesday, the police sent the suspect to the public prosecutor’s office on suspicion of dangerous driving resulting in death or injury.
Suga said he will ask businesses that use vehicles to implement thorough measures to prevent driving under the influence of alcohol.
The prime minister also stressed that he will make sure everything is done to find the root causes of the latest accident.
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