Police department hopes to entice Japanese pensioners to give up their driving licenses and retire from the roads by offering them discount funerals. A town in Aichi prefecture has piloted the discount funeral scheme to decrease the number of elderly drivers from getting behind the wheels of their cars.
According to 2016 statistics that were released by the prefectural police, most drivers who are 75 years old and above are responsible for 13% of fatal accidents in the town of Aichi. The report was published by Kyodo, a Japanese news agency.
Shigenori Ariga, the manager of Heiankaku Funeral Homes, told CNN that have teamed up with the police department of Ichinomiya so that they raise awareness about road safety particularly among the elderly and their families. Elderly customers who will surrender their driver’s licenses at police stations will be given 15% discount from the cost of funeral.
The funeral discount will apply to all the 89 prefecture-wide locations of Heiankaku. The police department will be issuing certificates to the elderly who will surrender their licenses as proof to avail of the funeral discount.
According to Ariga, funeral services in Japan can be quite expensive with an average cost of about 1.5 million yen ($13,300), the bulk, 1.2 million yen goes towards funeral alter. A lot of tragic funerals are associated to traffic accidents and there is an increasing trend among elderly drivers.
Japan’s population is aging, a demographic predicament that resulted into economic concerns. Ariga hopes that the campaign will help the elderly and their families decide to surrender their licenses. Japanese authorities are also making it more difficult for the elderly to renew their driver’s license by issuing cognitive screening tests. Police are working hard to ensure road safety to reduce the number of fatal road accidents.
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