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Hakone ekiden relay runner just avoids getting hit by van

A runner barely avoids a collision with a van at the Hibiya intersection along National Route 1 in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on Jan. 3, 2017. (Image from video provided by a spectator)

A runner participating in the annual Tokyo-Hakone collegiate ekiden road relay barely avoided being hit by an oncoming van in Tokyo on Jan. 3, police said.

    Officials at the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) pointed out that the incident was caused by problems with cooperation between police officers in charge of traffic restrictions along the course.

    "We'd like to review how to enforce regulations, including staff assignment, in order to prevent a recurrence," said an official of the MPD in charge of traffic control.

    According to the MPD, a runner representing Kanagawa University was about to pass the Hibiya intersection along National Route 1 in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, at around 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 3 when he was nearly hit by a van coming from the left. At the time, many vehicles were passing the area.

    The runner averted a collision by slowing down, and escaped unhurt. The race went on without any interruption despite the incident.

    Several MPD officers were assigned to the intersection to enforce traffic regulations, according to the officials.

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