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Driver who killed cyclist in crosswalk accident found not guilty

61 Comments
By Scott Wilson, RocketNews24

Pedestrian crosswalk laws are all over the place no matter where you go. What’s considered jaywalking varies by country, and in the U.S. each state has its own laws for exactly how far the pedestrian needs to have crossed on the crosswalk before you have to stop.

In Japan, typically vehicles are expected to yield to anyone in a crosswalk at all times. That’s why the judge’s decision in a recent landmark case is taking the country by storm right now: a cyclist was killed by a car in a crosswalk, and the motorist was found to be in no way at fault.

On June 2013 in Takasago City, Hyogo Prefecture, a man crossing the street via a crosswalk while riding a bike was hit by a driver making a right turn into the same lane, resulting in the cyclist’s death. Following the accident there was a court ruling handed down to the driver saying that he was at fault, though it is unclear whether he was found to be fully or only partially at fault, and he was ordered to pay 300,000 yen in compensation.

The driver appealed the decision, and finally on May 19 this year, the second trial came to an end with a new ruling: since the cyclist crossed on a red light, the driver of the car was not at fault, and therefore not guilty. The new ruling overturned the old one, eliminating the previously imposed fine.

It’s not clear if the fact that the cyclist crossed during a red light was brought up in the initial trial or just in the appeal, but it certainly made a big difference in the eyes of the new judge. He ruled that “the accident was caused by the defendant making a [legal] right turn on a green light.” Stating: “He [the driver] does not have the responsibility to be so careful as to ensure that there are no bicycles crossing in the crosswalk when they have a red light [and should have stopped].”

This decision has quickly become a controversial topic in Japan, since usually the driver is found at least partially at fault in pedestrian/cyclist accidents, no matter what. While many on Twitter are saying that they disagree with the decision, even more seem to agree with it:

“I feel bad for the man who lost his life, but I agree with the court’s decision here.” “I always thought that the driver was at fault even if they had a green light and the pedestrian/biker had red, so I’m really thankful for this ruling.” “Well done. This will set a strong precedent.” “This is groundbreaking. Although, wasn’t that [original] 300,000 yen fine for the first trial a little small?”

Source: Asahi Shimbun

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Driver struck by another vehicle in the wrong lane, still ordered to pay 40 million yen -- 65-year-old arrested for theft: “I never worked” -- High school cyclist gets a hard lesson in looking both ways before crossing the street

© Japan Today

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61 Comments
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I drive in Japan every day. You would not believe how many people, pedestrians and cyclists arrogantly cross on red lights. I have even seen police at crossings completely ignore people crossing on the red. It seems to be a crime to hold an umbrella while cycling but ok to go against traffic lights.

Don' get me started on all the cyclists riding against the traffic on 2 way roads. A practice that just started in recent years.

17 ( +23 / -6 )

Agreed with the judge decision ...

14 ( +16 / -2 )

@25. I've been here 30 and I could not agree with you more. Judge called it right on this one. The absolute lack of common sense displayed at intersections and elsewhere by cyclists is absolutely dumbfounding. I'm so cautious when I drive my wife nags me for driving too slow.

11 ( +13 / -3 )

I am torn here, but I do think it sets a very strong precedence. Bikers get away with murder here (not literally). They ride down the wrong side of the street, cross right in front of a moving car, don't stop at stop signs or traffic lights, and have two and sometimes three people on the same bike.

Its sad that it takes someone to lose their life to set this type of precedence, but I really feel that it needed to be done. Drivers can't always be responsible for the poor decisions of a pedestrian.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

I thought bicyclists are supposed to "walk" their bicycles across a cross walk. I agree with the decision.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

It is interesting to compare this with "Driver struck by another vehicle in the wrong lane, still ordered to pay 40 million yen" which appears in red at the end of the article.

Generally, if someone is hit by a car, even if they run in front of it, they or the family receive compensation. If it is a train that hits the person, the railway company gets the compensation. This also seems inconsistent.

As I driver, I have noticed a lack of caution by many cyclists.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Car drivers in Japan virtually never stop for any pedestrians even when the pedestrian is on foot (not bikes) and fully in the crosswalk. At best they will slow down. I think this is associated with the rather junior high school level feeling about "face": they are embarrassed to make any real change in their behavior because someone might notice and it will embarrass them. The instant my foot touches the crosswalk, the cars should stop.

-13 ( +9 / -22 )

It's hard to know what to do on a bicycle, or with a bicyclist, when Japan can't even make a firm decision on if the bicycle is considered a vehicle and if it should be on the sidewalk or not, if cyclists should follow traffic laws for cars or not. There isn't even a speed limit for bicycles! Mopeds are limited to 30kph, but not bicycles! Mopeds are limited for "safety reasons" but bicycles are apparently safer??

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I welcome the judge's stance in not punishing the car driver for something he had no control over.

Now how about cops actually enforcing the law introduced in Jan. 2014 banning cycling on the right?

14 ( +15 / -1 )

I am a cyclist and I agree with this judgement. The idiot was crossing on a red light. He was an accident waiting to happen. Through his stupid act he died and brought misery to an innocent person.

There are cyclists and there are bicycle riders. Cyclists are careful. Mere bicycle riders in this country are slobs who do not realize that a bicycle is vehicle that is potentially lethal and a highly vulnerable. I'll skip the near misses I've had as a pedestrian, a cyclist and a driver with morons who disregarded elementary rules of the road.

There has been a general rule that the driver was always at fault even if someone jumped in front of your car. (I have actually had that experience and thank the car's brakes and my astringent keeping to the speed limit that nothing terrible happened.) Finally, a little common sense from the judiciary. The damage to the innocent driver's psych is going to take a long time to heal.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

This is a good decision, for a change. First of all, a bicycle is a vehicle and as such must abide by traffic laws. Had the cyclist been riding on the road (and not the sidewalk) the driver would clearly have seen him. Whether walking, cycling, or driving the traffic lights are there to guide the safe flow of all traffic.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I tend to favor the ruling. If the light was red, then a pedestrian or cyclist shouldn't cross. Same for a driver. If the light is red, you do not turn or cross the road.

I also think cyclists should wear helmets. I find it strange that suddenly from high school, you don't seem to be required to wear a helmet. If you're head is going to hit concrete, then the only thing that will probably save your life is that helmet.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

In Australia if you're a car driver and your approaching a zebra crossing (without traffic lights), you're required to reduce speed and cover your brakes. If you see a pedestrian waiting at the curb (at a zebra crossing), you're required to stop and let them cross.

With this approach the pedestrian doesn't need to step into the path of an oncoming vehicle and hope they stop.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

I found that many Japanese people think red lights are an advisory at best, so no matter what I always try to remember to look, even when I'm on the green light. You never know if some huge truck in a hurry to get some where is cpming. The law doesn't count for much if your dead, best to be more careful than the fools are careless.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This is the correct ruling, but for the wrong reasons:

“He [the driver] does not have the responsibility to be so careful as to ensure that there are no bicycles crossing in the crosswalk when they have a red light [and should have stopped].”

I think that drivers have the responsibility to ALWAYS be as careful as reasonably possible. I always check both ways going through an intersection when the light is green, because there MIGHT be some who's too tired or drunk to tell red from green. I always decrease speed when I see a pedestrian standing next to the side of the road facing across it, because they might decide to step out at any time. That's what being a responsible driver means.

However cyclists and crosswalks are a whole different issue. I can't count the number of times I've been driving along and some cyclist has zipped across the crosswalk in front of me forcing me to slam on brakes. There are a lot of cyclists who actually speed up to compensate for moving from the sidewalk to the crosswalk.

The reason they're a whole different issue is that cyclists heading full speed across a cross-walk are coming from a right-angle to your car, which often means they're completely invisible to anyone looking straight ahead - and they're going at much greater speed, so they go from invisible to in front of your car in less than a second.

And this to me is the real issue. Not the issue that it wasn't the driver's responsibility to be careful, but that the cyclist's actions provided the driver with too little time for him to reasonably react and avoid or minimise the accident.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

@25 years

Don' get me started on all the cyclists riding against the traffic on 2 way roads. A practice that just started in recent years.

I prefer to walk/cycle against the traffic ever since a guy I knew in the states got killed by some texter from behind. At least this way you can see who/what is coming at you.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

therougouMay. 23, 2015 - 10:05AM JST I prefer to walk/cycle against the traffic ever since a guy I knew in the states got killed by some texter from behind. At least this way you can see who/what is coming at you.

As a driver I prefer this too. I can see the cyclist clearly - as opposed to the current situation where when I'm stopped at traffic light a cyclist could be sitting in my blind-spot and I wouldn't know until I heard a crunching sound.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The driver is not at fault. Give him his car keys back. He's free. (DOn't bother with a crush course on driving politeness) Having said that, I think the ruling really really sucks. Does the ruling of not "being responsible....to.....ensure........" applies to that same driver when his kids are playing in the drive way? I hope he "ensures" this time. Life comes before traffic regulations (which may change). Be responsible and make sure that you don't kill no pedestrian even when you have the right to pass.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I respect the judge's decision but I wonder how he would have ruled if the cyclist was a child. I've been a driver for almost half a century.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

At last, a small glimmer of logic in Japan. But as Frungy points out, its not 100 percent logical.

What is most welcome is the concept that, yes indeed, even if your car is moving, you can be zero percent responsible for an accident. The particular brand of stupidity that insisted (wrongly) that a driver could have avoided an accident if their car was moving needs to leave Japan forever and never come back. Basically the current basis for traffic rulings in Japan demands that drivers be ninjas with the power to bend the laws of physics plus have X-ray vision. I suppose they would also need a Speed Race "jump" button on their steering wheel among other things.

It is also logical that since the cyclist ignored the red light that it is quite possible he takes all the blame.

However, I think it is vital that Japan make a clear decision on if bicycles are vehicles or not. If they are, then they should be out of the zebra crossings and the PEDESTRIAN light should not apply to them. We can't have cyclists acting like vehicles one second and acting like pedestrians the next, UNLESS they get off and push. There are already far too many things going on for drivers to be duly aware without cyclists totally changing their manner of riding suddenly, going from riding on the road like a car to turning left up on the sidewalk then suddenly turning right to continue through the intersection on the zebra crossing. Drivers can't follow such paradoxical maneuvers.

Also, cyclists need to flow with the cars. There will be accidents either way, but, consider that on a narrow road barely wide enough for two cars, you introduce a bicycle traveling on the right. You have a head on in the making or at least everyone comes to a dead stop. This also applies in various traffic conditions as even wide roads suffer narrow areas as traffic increases. Having people pass you on BOTH sides is a recipe for confusion and disaster.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Bravo! If this ruling sets such a precedent that it motivates a change in behavior for even one of the dozen+ cyclists I see blithely running red lights every week, I shall be very pleased.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I cycle every day and I can't tell you how many hundreds of times I've seen people on mamachari just pedal into the crosswalk without looking at their surroundings; green light, red light, no light, car comng, whatever. I agree with this decision. Maybe Japan is ready to come into the 20th century.

6 ( +7 / -2 )

I drive in Japan every day. You would not believe how many people, pedestrians and cyclists arrogantly cross on red lights.

I cycle in Japan every day. You would not believe how many drivers I see arrogantly run red lights, make illegal u-turns and make sudden turns without signaling. The bottom line: If you run a red light, you're responsible, whether you're a car or a cyclist.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Cyclists have to ride with the flow of traffic in Japan.

For traffic rules they are classed the same as 50cc Scooters. I now see more and more bicycles in my neighborhood getting of the pavement and onto the road.

Will still take some time before cars and cycles get used yo share the same space. Bicycles should Aldo getba shaken type sticker as most are hardly roadworthy and not maintained.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The situation where I live is chaotic and the police are unable or unwilling to do anything about it. I know the crossings in my area that are most at risk and have never seen a police presense there. I have however seen dozens of chalk marks on these crossings which tells me some unfortunate got mowed over by some impatient driver trying to get where he or she was going a few seconds faster.

What..in the name of wee man is the hurry folks!!?

Is you getting to where you are going a few minutes early really worth the risk of killing or injuring some innocent? Judging by today's news...I guess the answer is "yes"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sorry to the cyclist, but the judge's ruling is a good one. If it had been a crossing with no lights then that cyclist would not have been at (as much) fault, but since he rode against a red light, it is his fault alone. I ride my bicycle every day in Japan, well, minus typhoons, and I ALWAYS have near-misses with fools who fail to obey the law simply because they are on bicycles. I see them go through red lights, ride on the wrong side of the road, bolt around T-intersections without checking before they turn (one crashed into me and had to pay me compensation for damage to my bike because I was just going straight down the street and he turned into me), ride in the middle of the road, etc. Never mind the ones who are using cell phones while riding! I doubt this judgement will accomplish much, but hopefully it opens the eyes of some cyclists out there.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Finally a good decision by a judge here. The UK Highway Code is very clear that pedestrians also have a responsibility to cross safely, and should not assume a driver will automatically stop the instant that they try to cross the road...

A. First find a safe place to cross and where there is space to reach the pavement on the other side. Where there is a crossing nearby, use it. It is safer to cross using a subway, a footbridge, an island, a zebra, pelican, toucan or puffin crossing, or where there is a crossing point controlled by a police officer, a school crossing patrol or a traffic warden. Otherwise choose a place where you can see clearly in all directions. Try to avoid crossing between parked cars, on a blind bend, or close to the brow of a hill. Move to a space where drivers and riders can see you clearly. Do not cross the road diagonally.

B. Stop just before you get to the kerb, where you can see if anything is coming. Do not get too close to the traffic. If there’s no pavement, keep back from the edge of the road but make sure you can still see approaching traffic.

C. Look all around for traffic and listen. Traffic could come from any direction. Listen as well, because you can sometimes hear traffic before you see it.

D. If traffic is coming, let it pass. Look all around again and listen. Do not cross until there is a safe gap in the traffic and you are certain that there is plenty of time. Remember, even if traffic is a long way off, it may be approaching very quickly.

E. When it is safe, go straight across the road – do not run. Keep looking and listening for traffic while you cross, in case there is any traffic you did not see, or in case other traffic appears suddenly. Look out for cyclists and motorcyclists travelling between lanes of traffic. Do not walk diagonally across the road.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

At first I thought this article was about a crosswalk without a signal. If the cyclist went threw a red light, then it is his fault. That being said, on side streets of Osaka and Hyogo many cars do not even stop at stop signs.. never mind stopping for a pedestrian at crosswalks. The other day, i saw a campaign car blow through a stop sign.

I prefer to walk/cycle against the traffic ever since a guy I knew in the states got killed by some texter from behind. At least this way you can see who/what is coming at you.

As a cyclist I hate when there is someone coming from the wrong direction. When another cyclist comes to me, I am sure to go as close as the curb as possible and let them go around me. If they refuse to, I just stop and tell them they are riding on the wrong side of the road.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

As a cyclist I hate when there is someone coming from the wrong direction. When another cyclist comes to me, I am sure to go as close as the curb as possible and let them go around me. If they refuse to, I just stop and tell them they are riding on the wrong side of the road.

That's fine. I'm willing to go around you and even take a dirty look or 2 since I'm in control of the situation and can see if there are any cars coming ahead.

Since I don't drive, my biggest problem actually comes with cars flying around the corner and only slowing down centimeters before the crosswalk where my daughter and I are crossing. It's nerve-wracking every time.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

therougou: "That's fine. I'm willing to go around you and even take a dirty look or 2 since I'm in control of the situation and can see if there are any cars coming ahead."

And when you cause an accident it will be 100% your fault, too. You are putting other lives at danger besides your own when you flaunt the traffic laws like this, whether or not you think a dirty look will be the extent of your punishment. Your kids and society learn from seeing you do this as well. And ultimately, if the cyclist in this article had been paying following laws, he would be alive today. As it is he did not, and he's dead. Some cyclists seem to think because they are on a bicycle and not in a car they are safe, can cross the roads, ride on the wrong side, carry stuff on handles, email, and do all sorts of other things that break the law.

I'm glad this judge found the driver not guilty, because he is indeed not guilty.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Two seconds on an internet search will tell you that, by law in Japan, bicycles must ride on the left side of a road,

AND

pedestrians are to walk on the right.

Bicycles are faster than people walking, and that raises the chances of a terrible accident with two vehicles speeding towards each other. It is safer, however, for pedestrians to walk on the right because they are then able to see any possible danger bearing down on them (someone texting, driving drunkenly, or one of those times when a motorbike is passing a car on the right and leaving no space). I always walk on the right - it just seems foolish to completely trust the bicycles/motorbikes/cars coming up behind me on those narrow roads. I'd rather have at least a small chance of leaping to safety.

6 ( +5 / -0 )

Instead of the utterly useless High School curriculum, road sense and traffic rules really ought to be in there somewhere. Cyclists particularly need this.

And please, please teach these things with regard to students' understanding. There are so many drivers who give NO signal when turning, or who give a signal during or after the turn. You give a signal BEFORE YOU TURN, so that drivers behind you know which way you are going to go.

Accidents like the above could be avoided with a little basic road sense.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Driving in Japan is like a video arcade game. Its like rats on drugs. Drivers who think they are the only driver in the planet,slow people walking across the crossings and cyclists firing across and then the mopeds on the inside. You have to be super aware to drive safely here. Thats why I have a gold license.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"It’s not clear if the fact that the cyclist crossed during a red light was brought up in the initial trial"

If so, the driver hired a really, really bad lawyer.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Since I don't drive, my biggest problem actually comes with cars flying around the corner

And you still want to cycle (illegally) on the right? Don't forget your omamori.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Sorry the guy lost his life, but it's high time that pedestrians and low speed vehicles be held responsible for their actions on public roads.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The law must be based on common sense which needs to apply to ALL who use an intersection and that includes drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. If you cross the intersection on red then you should receive no legal sympathy in the event an accident happens due to your negligence. Everyone should be responsible for their own actions. This is the only way for people to learn.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As a cyclist I hate when there is someone coming from the wrong direction. When another cyclist comes to me, I am sure to go as close as the curb as possible and let them go around me. If they refuse to, I just stop and tell them they are riding on the wrong side of the road.

It's called salmoning, like when salmon go against the current to spawn. And we all know how they end up...

8 ( +8 / -0 )

A legal precedent has been set, and let the judiciary, police, schools, parents and everyone else takes heed of this important lesson in personal responsibility.

No more carte blanche for feckless bike riders.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@shonanftw

. I always walk on the right - it just seems foolish to completely trust the bicycles/motorbikes/cars coming up behind me on those narrow roads. I'd rather have at least a small chance of leaping to safety.

I think you are endorsing a "one-size-fits-all-shoe" with that. Pedestrians should walk on the side that is the safest, considering all conditions, and sometimes the clear winner is the left. You have to consider how much shoulder you have, if you are overlooking a cliff, up against a fence, if you have poles in your way, odd bends, etc. etc.

But all things being equal, I prefer to walk on the left, WITH traffic. My head swivels just fine on my neck and my ears work well so I know when its time to look back and check. If I need to run, I am already facing the direction I want to run. If you have to turn and run the other way, you just lost time. Many times I have made the decision to run or jog and then duck into an area I spotted ahead. I think if I had to remember someplace I passed and then turn to run back to get there, I would not make it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Nessie/Frenchosa,

I didn't know there was an expression for it. Salmoning is a good one.

I hate this too. How people can even think of cycling against the flow of traffic gets me. I just don't understand it.

But there are so many potentially dangerous traffic violations the police ignore.

Parking ON pedestrian crossings. Texting while cycling (not uncommon). And the latest idiocy, suddenly stopping and blocking traffic to receive a cell phone call. Why, oh why is it OK to mount a TV on a car dashboard and watch it while driving?

I think Japanese roads and road rules must have been drawn up by a committee of non-drivers sitting in a dingy, windowless basement somewhere.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It's true people cross the road stupidly. But in saying that, I have nearly been cleaned up in the middle of a crossing several times by drivers who just seem to think I should stop and give way even though I have the green light. And seeing cars go straight through red lights is also very common.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

ohninjapanMAY. 23, 2015 - 08:23AM JST Car drivers in Japan virtually never stop for any pedestrians even when the pedestrian is on foot (not bikes) and fully in the crosswalk. At best they will slow down. I think this is associated with the rather junior high school level feeling about "face": they are embarrassed to make any real change in their behavior because someone might notice and it will embarrass them. The instant my foot touches the crosswalk, the cars should stop.

Well seems you got a good old fashioned thumbing down mate, most likely by the driving fraternity. But I fully agree with you. Drivers are exceptionally arrogant in this country.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

once saw a cyclist get hit by a van because he sped across a crosswalk (side street, so no signals) at a cruising speed with seemingly no intent to yield for potential traffic. the driver never saw him coming. he was not knocked off or hurt, the bike was also fine, but having been witness to this situation immediately all i could think was how it could have ended much worse. this is all simply because he never considered stopping or slowing down to look both ways before crossing a road.

this article is an example of where a story like this can have a much more tragic outcome. i do feel bad for the man who died, but cyclists should be aware that if they are riding on a road or merely onto a road, they should feel like the road rules apply to them as well.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hope this news gets a lot of air time on prime time TV

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm glad the driver was found innocent, and I also hope the family of the cyclist had to pay for damages to the car.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

@Fandango Spoonmonkey

Drivers are exceptionally arrogant in this country.

Some are. Some are clueless. Some are stupid. Some are selfish. And some are just as crazy as they have been trained to be by driving schools. But guess what? Most of that applies to pedestrians and cyclists as well!

And guess what else? I was wondering when the pedestrian fraternity was going to start complaining about this clear attack on their special privilege to ignore common sense rules of the road they have so long enjoyed in Japan and elsewhere.

I walk sometimes too, and I also ride a bike sometimes. I see all sides of this. But when I walk I can see and hear cars clearly whereas I know drivers cannot always see me and they certainly cannot hear me. And I act accordingly. I wait until traffic is clear, then I go. Even when the pedestrian crossing has a green light, I still look around. We all have to be cautious or some of us are just being stupid.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

With this approach the pedestrian doesn't need to step into the path of an oncoming vehicle and hope they stop.

Perhaps pedestrians should think twice before stepping into the path of oncoming cars regardless of what the laws are. Dead is dead, after all.

I'm glad the driver was found innocent, and I also hope the family of the cyclist had to pay for damages to the car.

Why is it the family's fault? Dude died. I think that's punishment enough, don't you?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"In Japan, typically vehicles are expected to yield to anyone in a crosswalk at all times" Absolute rubbish. Drivers only yield at crossing with lights. The do not yield otherwise and have to wait for them to pass. Walk or ride across a crossing without lights expecting the car to stop will mostly likely result in being hit, Dont say I didnt warn you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Here, I always look before crossing even if it's green. In Canada I always do that because if I don't I will get hit for sure so I'm doing it too even tho I feel much safer here. If I ever get hit here, they bettter give me more than 300k Y if I have a broken leg or something. On another subject, why they let kids 6-7 years old riding their bike without their helmet?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Common sense at last, let's hope it becomes contagious

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This running red lights stupidity... just because the other traffic is stationary and still on red they seem to think they can run a red. So they speed up and by the time they cross the junction the green pedestrian crossing light is on. Makes my blood boil.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The car was turning right at an intersection. Therefore, he should have had ample time to brake, even if the cyclist had run the red light, unless the driver was speeding or not paying attention. I'm also very interested to know how they determined the cyclist went through a red light and why it wasn't brought up in the first trail.

I'm sure the judge in this case was privy to more information than the little bit in this article and made a sound decision based on that. However, those jumping for joy that some kind of precedence has been set don't know much about the way that rulings are determined in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For traffic rules they are classed the same as 50cc Scooters.

So, is it illegal to ride a bicycle faster than 30 km/h?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@A.N. Other

Yep. Years ago, when I was younger and fitter, I was chased down by a cop car and told I was breaking the speed limit on a bicycle (I'd been trying to get to the bank before 3 o'clock).

Nothing came of it; I doubt they could have proved anything.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

At crosswalks without signals, surely vehicles MUST give way to pedestrians, otherwise why waste the road paint?

That said, many drivers will not slow down or stop even when pedestrians are waiting to cross, because they expect pedestrians to be deferential to cars. I have already been crossing and had trucks or cars drive through in front of me many times.

Drivers and bike riders simply don't think or pay attention, and so you have to work on that assumption every time you go out.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The car was making a right turn, the cyclist going straight on. If the car had a green light didn't the cyclist have a green light too?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not necessarily. Sometimes crosswalks will be red, even when the light is green (usually on scrambles where all directions will be green at once for pedestrians).

As the driver was turning right and hit the cyclist, it would seem the cyclist was acting as a pedestrian, since they were on the wrong side of the road. As such, they would be using the crosswalk, and if the light is red for the crosswalk, it would mean the cyclist wasn't supposed to be on the crosswalk. If the cyclist was on the left side of the road (the correct side), and was on the road (not the sidewalk), they would have the same green light as cars.

I'm speculating though, as I have no idea of the specifics.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

frontandcentre: Yes, vehicles have to stop at such crossings if anyone is waiting to cross. It's in the Japanese "Highway Code" No one seems to know this except the police (or some of them). A police car is the only car that has ever stopped for me in 14 years here. I have to step out in front vehicles to make them stop otherwise if it's a busy road it would take a long time to cross. Sometimes I am walking or running along a road and come across people waiting to cross at such crossings and waiting until no cars are in sight. I often interrupt my journey and step out into the road to bring the traffic to a halt so that the pedestrian or pedestrians wishing to cross can do so before I return to the same side of the road to continue my journey. Until more drivers stop for a pedestrian wishing to cross at such crossings it is indeed a waste of the white paint they use to paint the road.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Let me give you an example of good driving today. I was driving to Nogata on a straight road slight curve at the 50km speed limit and wanted to turn left to go to my lake where i do my long runs. I have cars and big tucks backed up behind me and want to turn left quickly unless I will be rammed by all the cars behind. A schoolboy cyclist rides across the point I want to turn into. Do I 1/ just turn in an hope he stops, do I 2/ stop and wait and potentially cause a fatal accident or do I 3 thin fast and keep going and waste 5 mins taking a different turn. Welcome to driving Japan. Gold licensce. I kept going.

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That's fine. I'm willing to go around you and even take a dirty look or 2 since I'm in control of the situation and can see if there are any cars coming ahead.

Clearly you aren't aware of the January 2014 law against cycling on the right. I suggest you read up on it

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