Speeding tickets

Speeding tickets (スピード違反切符) are an avoidable but common occurrence for many people in Akita. They are very expensive and quite a nuisance to deal with.

Fines chart

This chart for speeding penalties was compiled by former JETs from Aomori Prefecture in 2007 and may be outdated. Please use it as an estimation of the expected fine. The fines start at 10km over the stated limit, implying that if you drive within 10 km of the speed limit, the cops won't stop you. Then the speeding tickets start at ¥9,000, and go up by ¥3,000 in 5km increments.

km over the limit Cost (¥)
10 - 15 9,000
15 - 20 12,000
20 - 25 15,000
25 - 30 18,000
30+ 60,000+

The following table was taken from the Japanese website www.speedgo.com.

Speeding Points Points
(alcohol)
Fine (¥10,000)
Large Normal Motorbike Moped
50km over 12 13 ~ 19 public prosecutor call
30km (Expressway 40km) ~ 50km over 6 9 ~ 16
Expressway 35km ~ 40km over 3 8 ~ 15 40 35 30 20
30km ~ 35km over 3 8 ~ 15 30 25 20 15
25km ~ 30km over 3 8 ~ 15 25 18 15 12
20km ~ 25km over 2 7 ~ 14 20 7 ~ 14 12 10
15km ~ 20km over 1 7 ~ 14 15 7 ~ 14 9 7
less than 15km over 1 7 ~ 14 12 9 7 6
  License suspension
(long term)
  License suspension
(medium term)
  License suspension
(short term)

Punishments

Although any form of speeding in Japan is technically against the law, it is a commonly accepted rule of the road that going less than 10km over the speed limit will be overlooked by the police. In many places, people regularly drive 20km over the limit ... but if the cops decide to bust you, tough luck. If you are caught going 30km over the speed limit, the punishment becomes quite drastic.

The line in the above chart for 30km is actually completely blank. You should expect to pay at least ¥60,000 (or perhaps much more). It gets worse — your license will probably be suspended for 1-30 days, and you will be required to attend a day or two of traffic safety school, which is both during working hours, necessitating the use of paid leave, and is also in a place that's hard to get to without a car. Possibly you may be prosecuted, which would necessitate a court hearing, and it's not unlikely that you'll have to visit the police station or prosecutor's office.

For 40-50km over the limit, you're looking at losing your license, possibly resigning from your work (public servants can't just break the law like this), and may have to leave the country. Technically, driving at such speeds becomes a crime in its own right: endangering the public.

Note that speeding fines and penalties vary depending on the type of road (local, toll road, residential, etc.).

See also

Traveling in Japan
V • T
Cars Driving DrivingWinter drivingSpeeding ticketsDrinking and drivingRoadside Station
Licenses International Driving PermitJapanese Licence Transition (Car Course Elements) • Renewing your Japanese license
Acquisition/Disposal Buying a CarDisposing of a Car
Other Transport Trains • Akita Nairiku Line • Shinkansen • Buses • Ferries
Airports Narita International Airport • Haneda Airport • Akita Airport • Odate-Noshiro Airport • Sendai Airport • Kansai Airport
Leaving the Country Residence Card • Travel insurance • Buying flights & travel agents
Other Topics Getting to Tokyo • Traveling in and out of Japan • Akita JET travel guide