Photo/IllutrationTokyo Governor Yuriko Koike sits in a vehicle with a device to prevent sudden acceleration at an auto parts shop in Tokyo on June 10. (Rihito Karube)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Older drivers who install devices in their cars to prevent them from accidentally applying the gas pedal will receive a subsidy covering about 90 percent of the cost.

Governor Yuriko Koike announced the subsidy plan on June 11 during a question-and-answer session at the metropolitan assembly.

Under the plan, which runs until 2020, older drivers are encouraged to buy and install devices with mechanisms to prevent unintended acceleration when the accelerator is mistaken for the brake.

The Tokyo metropolitan government decided to introduce the measure following a fatal accident involving an 87-year-old driver in the capital's busy Ikebukuro district in April.

Police suspect that the driver accidentally depressed the gas pedal, sped through a pedestrian crossing and slammed into a garbage truck, leaving a mother and her 3-year-old child dead and a number of others injured.

The devices prevent electric signals from being transmitted if the gas pedal is suddenly pressed when the vehicle is running at low speeds or even stopped. They can be installed on post-purchase vehicles.

The cost of buying and installing the devices ranges from 30,000 yen ($277) to 90,000 yen, but the burden will be reduced to between 3,000 yen and 9,000 yen with the subsidy.

Details such as applicable ages and starting period of the subsidy program are to be determined.