Emergency Steps on the Metropolitan Expressway

What to do in an emergency

If incidents such as a breakdown, accident, or major earthquake occurs while driving on the Metropolitan Expressway. Panic and selfish behavior may lead to secondary damage. It is important to learn response theories for these potential situations.

First ensure safety

Please ensure safety by following the steps given below if your vehicle is immobile on the route after an accident or vehicle trouble.

  1. 1. Turn on hazard lights.
  2. 2. In consideration of vehicles in the rear, set up a triangular stop sign to signal the vehicles in the rear.
  3. 3. Evacuate to a safe location and report the incident to the Traffic Control Center (do not repair on your own until responding vehicles have arrived).

Take extra precautions in the following situations!

  • · When repairing a flat tire or inspecting/reorganizing a load on the shoulder of the road.
  • · When getting out the vehicle and waiting for accident responders to arrive.
  • · When talking on the road with persons involved in the accident.
  • · When walking on or crossing the road to make an emergency phone call.
Next, report the incident

Please report the incident so we can track road conditions and avoid secondary damage.

Report from the nearest emergency telephone

Emergency telephones are set up at roughly 500 m intervals (100 m intervals in tunnels) on the Metropolitan Expressway. The steps for connecting to our Traffic Control Center are simple.

Image of Emergency phone sign

Report from a mobile phone or PHS (toll-free)

Dial the road emergency number from your mobile phone or PHS to report the incident if an emergency telephone is not nearby or you cannot get out of the vehicle.

For Emergencies #9910

Please convey the following information when reporting.

  • · Accident
    where it occurred, potential injuries, accident description, name/vehicle model/number, where the vehicle stopped
  • · Vehicle trouble
    where it occurred, failure description, name/vehicle model/number, where the vehicle stopped
  • · Fallen objects
    where it occurred, type of fallen object, lane where it fell
Fallen objects
The object's owner is responsible for fallen objects and damage caused by fallen objects are liable for damage to the owner.

Please report accidents caused by fallen objects on the Metropolitan Expressway by emergency telephone or road emergency number (#9910 toll-free). In addition, report it to the competent police (highway patrol) as an accident.

Before driving! Checklist to prevent objects from falling

  • Fasten the load securely! You may be asked to stop and reload at a toll booth when an object is at risk of falling.
  • Cover the load with a sheet so that it will not fall! Do not forget to fasten the sheet! Inspect and secure loads especially in strong winds.
  • Check for small objects in the luggage carrier even when there is no load!

During the drive! Follow these steps before driving to avoid being involved in an accident with fallen objects!

  • Honor the speed limit, drive at a moderate speed!
  • Keep a safe distance between vehicles, and do not take your eyes off the road while driving!

We do not assume responsibility for damages from fallen objects on the Metropolitan Expressway.

Measures during a large earthquake

An earthquake may occur at any time. Be sure to know how to respond if one occurs. If a large earthquake occurs when driving, the car will suddenly start shaking violently to the side like when it has a flat tire, and it will feel as if the handle is being jerked.

If you feel a tremble when driving
  • 1. If you feel a tremble when driving on the Metropolitan Expressway, gradually slow down to a stop without braking suddenly.
  • 2. When stopping the vehicle, drive it to the left side (if you can't, then the right side), leaving the center open for police and fire vehicles to pass.
Image of Information board display at the time of earthquake
  • * When a large earthquake (intensity 5 or greater) occurs in the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Expressway, the entrance of the Metropolitan Expressway is closed to traffic. An emergency inspection is promptly performed to verify safety, which can take three hours.
When stopping
1
Drive to the left side (if you can't, then the right side) of the road, and turn off the engine.

Drive to the left side (if you can't, then the right side) of the road, and turn off the engine.

2
Turn on the radio to get information on the earthquake or disaster situation, as well as road traffic.

Turn on the radio to get information on the earthquake or disaster situation, as well as road traffic.

3
To avoid secondary damage, do not act impulsively.

To avoid secondary damage, do not act impulsively.

4
Follow instructions of police and patrol squads.

Follow instructions of police and patrol squads.

Evacuation guidance

Once road safety can be guaranteed, you will be led to an exit or entrance by a patrol car. In the event that your evacuation from the highway by vehicle is problematic or dangerous, follow instructions of the patrol squad to evacuate. Check the safety of your surroundings when evacuating, and follow the next steps.

Based on a partial revision (November 2014) of the Disaster Countermeasure Basic Act, civilian vehicles may be moved to secure the passage of police, firefighters, and Self-Defense Forces during a large-scale disaster such as an earthquake beneath Tokyo.

1
Leave your keys in the vehicle.

Leave your keys in the vehicle.

2
Close your windows tightly.

Close your windows tightly.

3
Always take your valuables.

Always take your valuables.

4
Leave a memo with your contact information.

Leave a memo with your contact information.

5
Do not lock your doors.

Do not lock your doors.

Measures during a tunnel fire

If a fire erupts in a tunnel, your response will depend on where exactly you are in the tunnel.

If you are at the entrance
  • · If a fire erupts in the tunnel, drivers will be notified by traffic lights and alert signs at the tunnel entrance.
  • · If the traffic light is 'red', stop in front of the tunnel and do not enter the tunnel under any circumstances.
  • · When stopping the vehicle, drive it to the left side (if you can't, then the right side), leaving the center open for police and fire vehicles to pass.

Follow instructions of police and patrol squads after stopping the vehicle.

If you are approaching a tunnel exit
  • · If a fire erupts in the tunnel, drivers approaching the exit will be instructed on how to leave through the next exit that opens onto a road by tunnel alert signs. Act in accordance with the displays.
  • · If a tunnel fire erupts, radio broadcasts will be interrupted to air emergency broadcasts on on-site conditions and offer guidance on evacuations. When driving through a tunnel, please switch on your car radio.
When the fire is in front of you
  • · Stop your vehicle according to tunnel traffic lights and tunnel alert signs.
  • · When stopping the vehicle, stop it to the left side (if you can't, then the right side), leaving the center open for police and fire vehicles to pass.
  • · Do not stop your vehicle in front of an emergency exit.
  • · When leaving your vehicle
    1. 1. Turn off the engine, and leave your keys in the vehicle.
    2. 2. Close your windows tightly.
    3. 3. Always take your valuables.
    4. 4. Leave a memo with your contact information.
    5. 5. Do not lock your doors.
  • · Follow the evacuation route from the emergency exit to come out from the tunnel. The evacuation route is a safe space, so please evacuate without panic.
When at a fire scene

If you are near a fire eruption spot, and you are instructed by an in-tunnel broadcast or crew, or sense danger, get out of your vehicle and evacuate. Being inside a vehicle near the scene of a fire is extremely dangerous.

First, please report the incident.

Mobile phone (#9910)

Call "#9910" from a mobile phone, follow the guidance and press "1" for the Metropolitan Expressway to connect to Control Center crew.

Push alert device

Press the button of a push alert device installed at roughly 50m intervals until the light goes on to report the incident to the Control Center.

Emergency phone

Pick up the receiver of an emergency telephone installed at roughly 100m intervals to connect with Control Center crew.

Please help out with initial fire extinguishing efforts.

If you are in safety and able to extinguish the fire, please use a fire extinguisher or foam fire hydrant.

Image of Fire extinguisher and foam fire extinguisher
Please evacuate away from the fire.
  • · Engage the side brake and turn off the engine
  • · Leave the key in the vehicle, and do not lock the door
  • · Head for the emergency exit according to the evacuation guidance displays
  • · Aid the elderly and wheelchair-bound with evacuation
  • · Evacuate to the surface using the evacuation pathway
Leave you key in the vehicle, and do not lock the door. Engage the hand brake and turn off the engine.
Following the navigation displays set up on walls, and head for an emergency exit. Help the elderly and wheelchair users to evacuate.
Do not stop your vehicle in front of an emergency exit.
Evacuate to ground level using an evacuation path.
Image of family

Types of evacuation pathways that vary by tunnel

As the Yokohama-Kita Line and Yokohama Circular Western Route (under construction) have an evacuation pathway beneath the road, slide down the slide to evacuate to the safe space beneath the slabs (there are some emergency exits which do not use a slide).

Image of evacuation slide