Food & Drink

Japan Wants Old People to Trade Their Driver's Licenses for Ramen

Published On 12/05/2016 Published On 12/05/2016
Khushbu Shah/Thrillist

A lot of things happen when we get older. Our hearing fades. Our minds wander. And our ability to operate a motor vehicle in a way that isn't terrifying sometimes diminishes. Now, one Japanese prefecture is taking delicious steps to help reduce senior-related horror on the asphalt -- and it involves discounted ramen.

Aichi, a prefecture in Japan's Ise Bay region, is trying to curb accidents caused by drivers 75 and older by hooking them up with cheap noodles in exchange for their licenses. According to the national police agency, accidents involving seniors have risen from 7.4% to 12.8% in the last decade, and more than 17 million residents over 65 are currently on the roads. This is a number that will only continue to grow. 

So, the prefecture decided to give these seniors a discounts on ramen at Sugakiya, a restaurant chain with hundreds of locations across the Island nation. The discount amounts to approximately 15% off -- which might not seem like a lot, till you remember that most grandparents steal jelly from diners just to save some coin. I guess that's what living through the Great Depression will do to you.

Similar incentives -- like discounts at public baths, barbers, and taxis -- have been relatively successful, with approximately 12,000 seniors giving up their licenses voluntarily already. The ramen should increase these numbers, since the only thing that seniors seem to love more than making other drivers nervous is a good discount.

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Wil Fulton is a staff writer for Thrillist. He actually blames Gwyneth Paltrow for most of the world's problems. Follow him @wilfulton.



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