NIIGATA -- A female police officer sped along an expressway in an unmarked police vehicle at 175 kilometers per hour because she slept in and was late for a training session for would-be recruiters, police here said on Sept. 3.
The 23-year-old officer was reported to public prosecutors for allegedly violating the Road Traffic Act by speeding, and was admonished by Niigata Prefectural Police the same day.
Niigata police said the officer in question was scheduled to participate in the training session at the prefectural police headquarters on the morning of July 4. However, she overslept and left the police station to which she belonged, along with two colleagues, 30 minutes later than they had planned.
The officer asked the colleagues to let her drive, as she felt responsible for oversleeping, and sped along a local expressway at 175 kilometers per hour when the legal speed limit was 100. Her colleagues tried to persuade her to slow down and let the headquarters know they would be late, but she didn't do so. They three arrived at the headquarters on time, but the car was captured on a speed camera.
The vehicle looked like a regular car and did not have a flashing red light. The female officer was quoted as saying, "I thought it would cause trouble for everyone if we were late because of me." She has apparently reflected on her conduct, according to police.
Senior Police Supervisor Yoshimi Okamoto said with a troubled expression, "There was no punishment for being late. She should have contacted someone."
(Japanese original by Mei Nanmo, Niigata Bureau)