17 February, 2016

Japanese Stop Signs Changing?

Last month we heard that the Japanese authorities were considering changing the Japanese stop signs to a shape more internationally recognised prior to the Olympics.

Japanese stops signs look like this. Remarkably similar to Australian Give Way signs (see below).
Australian sign*

Give way or yield

Here's a Japanese Give Way sign, quite similar in shape, though the red is far less. But the similarity between it and the one below it is quite scary, in a flap it would be easy to miss the little black and white sign below the red triangle. WHAT? You never drive in a flap? Well you've probably never gotten lost in Japan with fractious children in the back seat...
Slow down

Here's the backstory: "In 2016, it was announced that the Japanese National Police Agency was considering changing the design of the "Stop" sign used on Japanese roads since 1963 from the inverted red triangle sign to an octagonal design more closely conforming to the recommendations of the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals. The inverted red triangle sign was introduced in 1963 ahead of the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, and replaced the earlier red octagonal sign used from 1960, which in turn had replaced the yellow octagonal sign used from 1950" (Wikipedia).

Australian stop sign

Australia's Stop signs are in line with the convention.

So my question is: "Will the influx of foreign visitors surrounding the Olympics be confused and thus cause many bad accidents?"

Then my question is: 
"Is the estimated ¥25.5 billion cost of replacing all the stop signs in the country worth it?" 

And even, "Aren't there better things to be spending money on?"

*Both Australian signs by Government of Queensland (Vector graphics design by Cassowary) (here) [CC BY 3.0 au (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

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