Japan is generally a safe country as many people all over the world probably know. Safety in the country is one of the many high priorities by different organizations especially when it comes to public transportation. Since many people use the three main modes of transportation which are the train, buses, and taxis, there is safety equipment to ensure the safety of all passengers.
If you live in Japan, you must be aware that train operations stop after 12 am in some parts of the country, and around 1 am for Tokyo with buses stopping earlier at 10 or 11 pm. Once that happens, you’ll either have to stay the night somewhere, wait until train operations begin again in the morning, or take a taxi. Some would opt for the last option, despite the price but in the late hours of the night or early in the morning, it would be best if you are also aware of the safety features Japanese taxis are equipped with.
If you’ve seen a Japanese taxi before, you surely have noticed that all taxis in Japan have a plate on the dashboard in the lower corner of the windshield. Normally, the plates will either display a ‘vacant’ sign reading ’empty car’ (空車) and a running fare (賃走) sign. But if there is something strange happening inside the taxi, the plate will show an SOS sign or even a help sign.
You also might have noticed that taxis in Japan have lights on top of them. These are normally yellow during the night. Aside from the change in plate text, the taxi’s top lights will also either flash red or change from yellow to red in case of an emergency in the vehicle.
Basically, the driver will be the one to activate the safety feature by pulling a particular lever near the driver’s seat. You might think this would only be useful for the driver whenever they are in a situation, but this is also beneficial to the passengers during an emergency or an unexpected occurrence.
If by any case you see or encounter a taxi on the road with the above features on, as responsible citizens and cooperating with transport system officials, the first thing we should do is to dial 110 to tell them about the situation. You never know when a person is in trouble or has an emergency.
This may seem to be only minimal information to some regarding the safety features of Japanese taxis, but it’s important to keep in mind that safety is one thing we all should never take for granted. One good thing with Japanese taxis is that majority of them are uniform and follow the same set of rules either mandated by their company or the transportation officials behind it. Does your country also have these kinds of transport safety features?