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Can ramen noodles help reduce traffic accidents?

How to eat ramen: Slurp loud and unapologetically

Corie Rast, manager of the Columbus Park Ramen Shop, demonstrates the proper method to eat a bowl of ramen.
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Corie Rast, manager of the Columbus Park Ramen Shop, demonstrates the proper method to eat a bowl of ramen.

It can be difficult to convince older people that they shouldn’t drive anymore out of fear for their and others’ safety. But one Japanese district thinks it has found the answer: noodles.

Aiichi Prefecture is offering senior citizens a discount at a ramen restaurant chain in exchange for giving up their drivers license, Japanese wire service Jiji Press reports. Authorities are hoping to cut down on the number of traffic incidents involving older drivers which have been steadily increasing. According to Rocket News 24, many drivers cite confusion over the location of the gas pedal vs. the brake pedal as the cause for an accident. Some people don’t remember getting into a crash, indicating dementia could be a problem.

Japan passed a bill last year mandating a test for dementia for drivers older than 75 as a condition for renewing their license. They must also undergo other cognitive tests. A driver found to have dementia can have their license revoked, according to Japan Today.

Older people can turn in their license in Aiichi in exchange for a discount card that will get them 10 percent off at ramen noodle shop Sugakiya. The chain has 176 locations in the prefecture and the discount will apply to noodles, rice and salads.

Mike Zielenski participated in a virtual dementia demonstration at Atria Senior Living in Sacramento in October 2016. He said his 75-year-old sister has been diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s and is frequently angry or prone to outbursts

A 2014 study of Japanese drivers found a 10 percent increase in accidents caused by people driving through red lights or down the wrong side of a street, which helped spur the passage of the dementia test bill. Several parts of the country are also offering drivers a “Driving graduation certificate” for turning in their license. The program hopes to honor drivers for their years of driving while encouraging them to use other forms of transportation as they age. The graduation certificate gets people a 50 percent discount on buses and rail and a 10 percent discount on taxis.

Watch and see if the recent arctic blast in the Midwest was so cold it could freeze a bowl of hot instant noodles and hold up a pair of chopsticks? Gives a new meaning to 'frozen food.'

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