Car Culture

Tokyo's real-life Mario Kart tours wreak havoc on public roads

It turns out that letting people dress up like video game characters and turning them loose on the streets of Tokyo might cause problems.

MariCar.jp

Did you know that Mario Kart-themed go-kart tours on public roads in Japan are a thing? Book your tickets now -- or, if you value not being injured, perhaps it's best to read this first.

It turns out that throwing people in Yoshi costumes and turning them loose in a 50cc go-kart on the streets of Tokyo might not be the best recipe for safety. Japan Today reports that not only is there a rise in the number of kart-related injuries and incidents of property damage, but that foreign drivers are responsible for 86 percent of them.

Of course, that figure doesn't break things down in terms of banana peel versus tortoise shell accidents, but it does get broken down by both the drivers' nationalities and age groups. Sorry, my dudes, but North American males in their 20s are the chief offenders here. (Does that include Logan Paul?) South Koreans are responsible for two-thirds as many accidents, followed by China, Taiwan and Australia, respectively. People in their 20s and 30s are responsible for 90 percent of accidents, a figure which should surprise nobody.

Between March 27, 2017, and Feb. 26, 2018, the Japanese authorities recorded 50 accidents involving go-karts. Fully 47 of these accidents involved property damage, and two resulted in injury. In one case, a 35-year-old Taiwanese man did a hit-and-run on an 18-year-old cyclist.

The karts are limited to around 37 mph, and either a Japanese or international driver's license is required to rent one. Japanese law does not currently require drivers to wear helmets while living out their Mario Kart fantasies, and seatbelts are only set to become mandatory soon.

There is currently no word on the development of real-life invincibility stars.