Traffic Bureau


 

Overview

In 2020, the total number of fatalities caused by traffic accidents was 2,839, the lowest since the National Rural Police, the predecessor of the NPA, started compiling traffic statistics under the current formula in 1948. Total numbers of traffic accidents and persons injured have declined over the past sixteen years.
Trends in Numbers of Traffic Accidents and Fatalities
Number of Traffic Accidents, Fatalities,and Persons Injured

Enforcement
The police analyze traffic accidents precisely and place emphasis on enforcement against vicious and serious violations, resulting in grave accidents including fatal ones, such as unlicensed driving, driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, serious speeding violations and ignoring traffic signals. The police also focus on illegal parking and reckless driving by motorcycle gangs (Bosozoku).
 

Traffic Accident Information

Traffic Rules[English]

 

 

Traffic Rules[Other languages]

  • (6MB) [Published: September 2, 2011]
    Note : Five rules to follow to ensure safety when riding a bicycle were revised on November 1, 2022, but this document is the content before the revision.

Driver's License

Japanese Driver's License
 

The police are responsible for driver's license administration. As of the end of 2019, 82,158,428 persons possess driver's licenses.

Driver's licenses are valid for five years unless drivers are novice drivers, have committed traffic violations or caused traffic accidents, or are 70 years of age or older.

At the time of renewal, drivers are required to undergo training according to their respective records of traffic violations and accidents.

Drivers who are 70 years of age or older, are required to undergo training for elderly drivers at the time of renewal. Additionally, drivers who are 75 years of age or older are required to undergo a cognitive assessment in advance. Based on the assessment, elderly drivers will be assigned to undergo the most appropriate training. Further measures can be taken for elderly drivers who show cognitive impairment.

The police can promptly revoke or suspend licenses of drivers who committed serious traffic violations or caused accidents, and require them to undergo additional training.


Driver's license categories in Japan/Vehicle types in Japan


For Holders of Foreign Driver’s Licenses[English]

For Holders of Foreign Driver’s Licenses[Other language]

Q&A

Cognitive function Test for Senior Drivers

● Cognitive Assessment

A driver who is 75 years of age or older as of the final day of the driver’s license renewal period must undergo a cognitive assessment, etc.

The cognitive assessment, etc. may be taken from six months before the final day of the driver’s license renewal period.

A driver who needs to undergo a cognitive assessment receives a notice to that effect from the police by six months before the final day of the driver’s license renewal period.

● About cognitive assessment

Cognitive assessment is a test for measuring the testee’s memory and judgment. For two test items, namely, cued recall and temporal orientation, the testee enters answers in test sheets or on a tablet with the software for the test by using a stylus.

Specifically, the following two items are tested:

○ Cued recall

A cued recall test is conducted to check the testee’s memory. The testee memorizes certain illustrations, and after doing a task unrelated to scores, recalls the memorized illustrations without cues first, and then with cues.

○ Temporal orientation

A temporal orientation test is conducted to check the testee’s perception of time. The testee answers the year, month, date, the day of the week, and the time as of the test.

After the tests, scores are given, and the testee is determined either to "have risk of dementia" or "have no risk of dementia" according to the total score.

The testee is notified of the test result in writing (including a post card, etc.).

If a person is determined to “have risk of dementia” as a result of the test, the person is contacted by the public safety commission (police), and is required to undergo a special fitness screening or receive a diagnosis from a doctor based on an order to submit a medical certificate. If the person is diagnosed with dementia, the person’s license is revoked or suspended after proceedings such as a hearing.

Meanwhile, if a driver who is 75 years of age or older commits a specific traffic violation, such as ignoring the traffic light, a cognitive assessment is specially administered for that driver. The details of the test are the same as those of an ordinary cognitive assessment.

In this special cognitive assessment as well, a person who is determined to “have risk of dementia” as a result of the test needs to undergo a special fitness screening or submit a medical certificate, and if the person is diagnosed with dementia, the person’s license is revoked or suspended after proceedings such as a hearing.

In addition, in the case of a special cognitive assessment, if a person who was determined to “have no risk of dementia” in the most recently received assessment is determined to “have risk of dementia” in the current assessment, the person must take special training for elderly drivers.

Note: A cognitive assessment is a simple method for checking the status of a testee’s memory and judgment, and is not a substitute for a diagnosis or a medical testing by a medical doctor.

 

The test sheets, illustrations, and scoring method used for the cognitive assessment are as shown below.

 

Test Sheets

Procedural Guide (Pattern A)

Procedural Guide (Pattern B)

Procedural Guide (Pattern C)

Procedural Guide (Pattern D)

Scoring Method

 

 

Enforcement (312KB)

「Notificton of Traffic Violation」

ITS in Police 

Promotion of Traffic Safety Education and Campaigns (231KB)

Automated Driving