Tokushima: Crosswalk Deemed Invalid 30 Years after Installation

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The pedestrian crossing, foreground, which was found to have been invalid for about 30 years in Mima, Tokushima Prefecture

MIMA, Tokushima — A pedestrian crossing installed about 30 years ago was ruled invalid after a flaw was found in the installation procedures.

The crosswalk was located near a popular tourist area in Mima, Tokushima Prefecture. In early March, the Tokushima prefectural police said they had canceled past traffic violations and apologized for the mistake.

The crosswalk is believed to have been installed around May 1992. However, according to the police, local authorities couldn’t find the documentation required to install it when checking earlier this year during a traffic violation.

The Road Traffic Act requires vehicles to stop when pedestrians attempt to use a pedestrian crossing. Traffic violation records for this location over the past five years show that 32 people violated this law. The prefectural police decided to cancel all the violations and refund a total of about ¥300,000 in fines. They said they have already completed the proper procedures for the crossing.

The crossing is located near a former merchants’ district called “Udatsu no Machinami,” which features many traditional houses, and is frequented by tourists and residents.