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New Bicycle Rule Enforcements

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nice gaijin

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FYI for my cyclist friends, apparently the police are going to step up enforcement of cycling laws. I'm not sure exactly how coordinated or localized this effort will be, but better safe than sorry!

This article popped in my newsfeed this morning, prompting me to share here: Japan Info Swap » Cycling in Japan – Know the Laws

Here's a direct link to the police's safety handbook, scroll down for the bicycle-related section.

What are your thoughts on this? I think we've all either perpetrated or witnessed these rules being broken at some point, do you think the planned crackdown will have an effect on bicyclists' habits in Japan?
 

thomas

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If it helps to raise people's awareness of the fact that bicycles are vehicles and not just mere extensions of their feet and if the police are serious about enforcing the existing rules and not just fill their quota as long as the media pay attention to the "safety campaign", then I as a commuter wholeheartedly support this move.

Enforce

- cyclists riding on the left side of the road (if they ride on the road at all)
- cyclists wearing helmets
- the use of lights at night (front white, rear red!)
- cyclists actually maintaining their rigs (pump up them tyres and check your squeakin brakes!)
- cyclists putting both their hands on the bar and keeping their fingers off their bloody cellphones and umbrellas
- cyclists actually stopping at a red signal

The list goes on.

More info here

自転車運転者講習制度 :警視庁
 

aspenx

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I read about this just the other day. Doesn't feel new to me (since I had been riding a little more seriously back in my home country).

It did make me realise how nonchalant I have become since I started riding here. Better safe than sorry, even if everyone else is (still) flouting the rules/laws.
 

HanSolo

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Shame, I've just come here and have been enjoying the liberal attitude towards bicycle use. Helmet laws are a disgrace, some stodgy men in some office somewhere declaring how the people can go about their day, as though citizens are children and they're everybody's daddy. I've been pulled over by police in a patrol car for not wearing a helmet where I come from, and hit with a big fine for hurting or inconveniencing nobody. If it couldn't be a tort, it shouldn't be a crime. No one else will be injured if a cyclist busts their head open on the tarmac.
 

think_too_mut

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Apparently, depends where you are located.
In my county, Nagoya, only kids under 12 yrs old must wear bike helmets.
Frankly, I am surprised that the same law is not propagated nation wide.
It is not directed at you, there is a morbid accounting that says a death of a young person cost the government 1.2 mil dollars (in lost potential and taxes). Not much of humanitarian thinking but that is how the bean counters (who influence the laws) think.
 

thomas

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Helmet laws are a disgrace, some stodgy men in some office somewhere declaring how the people can go about their day, as though citizens are children and they're everybody's daddy. [...] No one else will be injured if a cyclist busts their head open on the tarmac.
I'm just wondering, would you say the same about seat belts being compulsory? Public health and safety have nothing to do with stodgy men in offices trying to impede your personal freedom. It's the same old hackneyed argument used against regulating smoking in public places.

After several serious bicycle accidents (some of them self-inflicted) I wouldn't even ride to the next combini without wearing a helmet. The folks in our bicycle club refer to cyclists without helmets as ODs (organ donors). That reflects the common attitude of those who are out there on the road on a daily basis.
 

HanSolo

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I'm just wondering, would you say the same about seat belts being compulsory? Public health and safety have nothing to do with stodgy men in offices trying to impede your personal freedom. It's the same old hackneyed argument used against regulating smoking in public places.
Yes I would, as long as it can't cause a tort. It is possible that not wearing a seat belt could cause you to fly through the windscreen and hit a bystander in a crash. If it is (sounds unlikely), then that alone is grounds for compulsory seat belt use.
Public smoking also causes torts - it unpleasantly gets into the lungs and into the clothes of the people around you. It's no different to urinating on someone standing next to you at a bus-stop, except that smoke is more toxic.
 

Mike Cash

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Apparently, depends where you are located.
Nope.

In my county, Nagoya, only kids under 12 yrs old must wear bike helmets.

Frankly, I am surprised that the same law is not propagated nation wide.
名古屋市:自転車はルールを守って安全に乗ろう!(暮らしの情報)

It is the law nationwide. Who told you it wasn't?

  第63条の9、道路交通法施行規則第9条の3
  【罰  則】5万円以下の罰金
 
(15)児童・幼児のヘルメットの着用
   児童・幼児を保護する責任のある者は、児童・幼児を自転車に乗車させるときはヘルメットをかぶらせるように努めなければいけません。
 
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Uncle Frank

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In my years of nursing , I had at least 3 young men with head injuries from bike riding without a helmet. They were vegetables in wheel chairs. The suffering their friends and family went through for years were painful to see. The financial hardships their injuries caused were never totally covered by insurance. When working as a cop in the 70's , seatbelts were not required by law. I saw several deaths where the victims did not wear a seatbelt , but not one where they had they had buckled up. The myths and reasons given to not wear seatbelts seem pretty stupid when you see someone's blood and guts all over the highway because they wanted their freedom.
 

HanSolo

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In my years of nursing , I had at least 3 young men with head injuries from bike riding without a helmet. They were vegetables in wheel chairs. The suffering their friends and family went through for years were painful to see. The financial hardships their injuries caused were never totally covered by insurance. When working as a cop in the 70's , seatbelts were not required by law. I saw several deaths where the victims did not wear a seatbelt , but not one where they had they had buckled up. The myths and reasons given to not wear seatbelts seem pretty stupid when you see someone's blood and guts all over the highway because they wanted their freedom.
I think you mean "because they didn't want to wear a seat belt". Everyone wants freedom, otherwise prison wouldn't be considered a punishment. I'm sure you've seen the messes of some motorbike crashes too, but that doesn't mean we should just ban motorbikes. Helmets and seat belts are obviously safer, but it's up to individuals how safe they personally want to be.
 
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