Trucking company president held responsible for tired driver

| 3/7/2006

The president of a Japanese trucking company has been arrested and charged with ordering one of his exhausted drivers to continue driving – a move police say led to an accident that killed three people and injured six others.

The Kyoto News reported that the driver had logged 420 work hours in the month leading up to the wreck, with only three days off in that time.

Hidefumi Kunimatsu, president of Kinjaku Sekiyu – the company that employed the driver – and one of his subordinates were arrested Feb. 13 and charged with ordering the driver to continue driving, in spite of being more than 100 hours over the maximum amount of driving time allowed in Japan.

The driver told police he dozed off behind the wheel and lost control of his truck, causing the wreck. He was indicted on charges of professional negligence resulting in death.