Traffic accidents rise involving drunk people asleep on Tokyo streets

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Metropolitan Police Department in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

Thirteen people in Tokyo this year have died after falling asleep on the street while intoxicated and getting run over by cars, already exceeding the seven such fatalities last year.

According to the Metropolitan Police Department, 10 of the 13 fatalities through November occurred after the person was drinking alcohol.

A man in his 50s who was killed when he was hit by a car on a street in Akishima while sleeping on the road at around 3:30 a.m. on Nov. 23 was on his way home alone after drinking alcohol at a neighborhood bar until just before the accident.

Incidents often occur late at night, and some have involved cabs.

The MPD has asked entities such as the Tokyo Hire-Taxi Association and the Tokyo Bus Association to have drivers drive slowly and check for safety, as well as call the police at 110 if they see someone sleeping on a road.

With the easing of restrictions on activities as a coronavirus mitigation measure, the number of drinking occasions are expected to increase this winter.

MPD officials are urging people to stay alert until they return home.