Japan's government has compiled emergency measures to prevent children and the elderly from becoming involved in car accidents.
Cabinet members from relevant ministries approved the measures on Tuesday, following a recent series of serious traffic accidents.
The measures include urgent safety inspections to be held by September in places along routes often taken by children. Depending on the results, sidewalks will be widened, protective barriers will be set up and other steps will be promptly implemented.
"Kids zones" will be established near child care facilities, in addition to the current "school zones," to raise awareness among drivers.
The measures also include establishing neighborhood groups named "kids guards" to be deployed for the safety of preschoolers.
To deal with accidents caused by elderly drivers, a system will be introduced to certify the functions of automatic brakes and devices to prevent sudden acceleration.
Officials will also consider establishing a licensing system that will limit elderly drivers to vehicles with such technology. They are aiming to reach a decision by the end of next March.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said there is strong demand to address issues arising from an aging society and to realize a society that helps child-rearing. He stressed there will be more calls for efforts to be made toward traffic safety.