• Jiji


Tokyo police referred a woman to prosecutors Thursday for allegedly riding an electric kick scooter without a license and colliding with a taxi, injuring a passenger.

The 23-year-old is suspected of unlicensed dangerous driving causing injury. This is believed to be the first case in Japan in which the charge has been applied to an accident caused by the rider of an electric kick scooter.

According to the Metropolitan Police Department, the woman, who works in the restaurant and bar industry, is suspected of ignoring a red light before entering an intersection in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward on the night of June 2.

She allegedly collided with a taxi coming from the side and caused a passenger to suffer an injury, recovery from which took about 10 days.

Under the road traffic law, electric kick scooters are classified as motorcycles with small engine displacement. Riders are therefore required to have a driving license.

Riders must also have compulsory automobile liability insurance, put a registration plate on the scooter and wear a helmet in principle.

But the woman, who bought her scooter at an electronics retailer in September last year for about ¥60,000, met none of the requirements.

As of Tuesday, police had confirmed 34 accidents involving electric kick scooters in Tokyo this year.

Earlier this month, the Fukuoka Prefectural Police Department arrested a man for allegedly riding a scooter without a license after drinking.

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