Elderly Japanese offered funeral discount if they give up driving
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Japanese drivers are being offered discounts on their funerals if they hand in their license and stay off the roads.
After a series of fatal accidents involving the elderly, a scheme was launched to tackle the perceived issue of the 4.8million motorists aged 75 and over in the country.
If they vow to stay away from the wheel, pensioners in Japan will be given 15 percent off the cost of their funerals.
The discounted funerals are now being offered after a scheme to provide discounted soup and groceries to elderly Japanese drivers who hand in their licence proved so successful.
Noodles and ramen soup discounts have been lapped up by elderly drivers in exchange for giving up control of their cars - and now cheap funerals have become an added temptation.
Large numbers came forward with their licence on the promise of discounted soup and groceries and it seems that being laid to rest at a discount is also showing signs of success.
All elderly drivers in Aichi Prefecture are being offered a 15 per cent discount by the Heiankaku funeral company at its 89 funeral homes.
Grandfathers and grandmothers have stepped forward with evidence issued by police to show that they have handed in their licences.
And in gesture to the nation’s road-safety the funeral company said it was working at plans with police to offer discounts to drivers who reside outside the prefecture.
Police believe the discounted funerals is a perfect solution to cutting down fatalities caused by elderly motorists who are losing the ability to properly control their vehicles.
The number of accidents caused by drivers aged 75 or older has almost doubled in the past 10 years, many of the crashes involving elderly motorists who confuse the accelerator and brake pedals or who mistakenly put the vehicle into reverse, the Kyodo news agency reported.
The discounted funeral offering has provoked mixed reactions among readers of the Japan Today website.
‘Speechless!’ wrote one reader.
‘I can image the people who offer these discounts thinking “hurry up and die”.’
‘Who really thinks up these things?’ asked another writer. ‘I’m sure a free bag of rice would have sufficed.’
Rickyu Kaminski wrote: ‘So tactful! But hey, if it works, right?
'Line up to hand in your licence, then move along.
'Who couldn’t jump at the chance for a 15 per cent discount on death?’