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Police, in a first, charge teen for using cell phone while cycling

170 Comments

Police have charged a teenager for using a cell phone while cycling, in the first such case of its kind in Japan, Nikkan Gendai reported on Wednesday.

Around 9:30 p.m. last Sunday, a patrolman in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, cited a 15-year-old female high school student for committing a traffic offense. The girl, a first-year high school student, had been riding her bicycle while viewing images on a cell phone and repeatedly disregarded warnings to desist viewing the phone.

"Speaking through his portable megaphone, the officer warned her four times that using a cell phone while riding a bicycle was illegal," a source at the Hiratsuka police station relates. She continued to disregard the warning and was issued a ticket.

The incident marked the first time for Kanagawa police to invoke the revised traffic ordinance, aimed at discouraging so-called "nagara unten" by cyclists who talk on cell phones or listen to music players while in motion. It went into effect on May 1.

"She apparently thought cyclists were not subject to traffic regulations," the source was quoted as saying, adding that violators may be fined up to 50,000 yen.

© Japan Today

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170 Comments
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Y50,000? poor part-time worker's 2~3 months salary.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "She apparently thought cyclists were not subject to traffic regulations" - either her parents or her school are lax for not teaching that it is DANGEROUS plus against the law

5 ( +8 / -3 )

some14some - it should be more. are you a driver? if you were you would know how dangerous these kids are on their bicycles with earphones, texting, whatever, maybe this will deter......one can only hope

1 ( +5 / -4 )

If she ignored a cop's warning, it probably means she had also tuned out the rest of the world. This cop could very well have saved her life. I've seen too many cyclists sail through red lights while texting or staring at their phones. I hope one doesn't run into my moving car someday, because I'll be the one royally screwed in that situation.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

One ran into my bicycle the other day while I was waiting at the lights to cross the road. He had on earphones AND was texting on a phone and cycling with one hand. He just went straight into me, thankfully not going to fast but the look of shock on his face was a picture - he looked at me like "What are YOU doing there??!"

It is so dangerous, particularly for children on the street because they are harder to spot and can suddenly run out unpredictably. It is supposed to be illegal here and subject to a fine (also riding with umbrellas), but I see people doing it all the time.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

How many accidents are really caused by cell phones? I think this is just a typical case of people getting all worried and upset about the new. We would all be better off if the police cracked down on the other violations that we see have seen every day for decades now.

-18 ( +3 / -21 )

Fantastic. These idiots need to be taught a hard lesson. I have to deal with them on a daily basis.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

@chewitup ya, try driving and when you run down one of them imbaciles and get thrown in the can for the remainder of your life maybe you will change your tune.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Drivers texting while driving is a way bigger problem, I see about 1 in 15-20 drivers texting while driving. Mostly Truck drivers too.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@Lunchbox, cyclist texting cuts off car, car jumps curb and takes out a natto stand. Why is it a "BIGGER" problem.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Great! They should do this more often. Wish they would also get drivers who don't stop at crosswalks and those drive with texting!

Kid sounds like a spoiled brat. Shame they didn't release her name or school name.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

How would a person be able to concentrate on talking/texting and cycling at the same time?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Where and how do you find out such stories? 9:30pm...really....most people are in bed or watching TV. How the heck did this make headlines?

Okay, give her a fine.

I really think this is the way the rich tax the poor. I drive with my music bumping, blasting....I can't hear anything over Daft Punk. How is this any different from someone who can't hear anything with earplugs? Toyota Prius is probably the first stealth car on wheels.....it's dead silent......why isn't that illegal?

I can understand the cell phone ordinance cause that actually takes away from your view of the road. Music does not.

-7 ( +5 / -11 )

great - now how about cracking down on car drivers who text with one hand while holding a ciggarette and drive at the same time while an unrestrained kid bounces around on the front seat of the same car....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Driving and texting, cycling and texting and talking. Personally, when I ride my bike I have an earpiece, that way, I can ride and don't have to take my hands off the handle bars. Now if they can target the motorists the same way, J-police would be the busiest people on this planet. Hopefully, in the future they will do the same thing to smokers also.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Great! They will enforce the law for a few months, get some media attention, and then stop. Just as they did with children in seat-belts.

Sadly, nothing will change...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

repeatedly disregarded warnings to desist viewing the phone.

Well there you have it. If you piss off an authority figure, they will show you up. And that is why this person was tagged. Not simply because she used it, but because she needed to be put in her place.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

But what really scares me is that we aren't allowed to listen to music while riding... That is news to me.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

About bloody time too! I'm only surprised the police gave her FOUR warnings. She should have been fined before the first warning. And they can get tough with drivers too. That's the problem - people do it because they know they can usually get away with it - letting children stand in the front seat, not letting pedestrians cross the road when the pedestrian lights are green, texting and holding umbrellas while cycling. I've been involved in a few near misses myself because of these selfish idiots.

Have to agree with namabiru4me - nothing will change. These idiots can do as much damage to themselves as they like - no skin off my back. The problem is that they can cause injury to others.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

50000 yen? Woah I didnt know that. But yeah, if you need to text or call, just pull over 1 minute and finish. As lunchbox already said. at least 2 out of 3 drivers in Japan is doing other things that focussing on driving. ...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If the police was to really enforce the law and giving tickets to each traffic regulation violators, there will be not consumer tax raise. Give me a break.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“Speaking through his portable megaphone, the officer warned her four times that using a cell phone while riding a bicycle was illegal,”

This must have been an interesting scene to say the least.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Finally a great move and a small step forward. There should also be laws forbidding cyclist to cycle over a pedestrian crossing. They sometimes come zooming out of nowhere and as a driver it is impossible to spot them especially at night. Driving around on any roadside they like shouldn't be allowed either. There is a lot more to be done.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

While Tokyo's dithering gov. Ishihara expends inordinate amounts time trying to impose draconian laws restricting ero-manga, net cafes and love hotels, Kanagawa pref. is passing common-sense laws for health and safety, like requiring that smokers be separated, and that cyclists keep their eyes on the road. Hard to believe it's the same country.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Grammefriday - Hell Yeah!

All sorts of traffic violations can be seen even when walking by a Koban because, as Pukey2 quite correctly points out, they know they can get away with it. Why cops don't stand outside their Kobans and look for infractions I can't understand - surely like shooting fish in the proverbial barrel.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Awesome! Give me this cop's name and I'll send him/her a thank you note. It's about time the police started cracking down on laws. I got hit last week by a kid riding his bike on the wrong side of the street and on the sidewalk while texting. The kid did apologize, but still.... he was completely oblivious to his surroundings while texting on his bike.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

great job police! I'm a motorcycle rider and I'm absolutely paranoid about bicycles, I had enough dangerous encounters with them. And I bicycle is fast and it doesn't give you time to promptly response. Cellphones, earphones, umbrellas, all of them are illegal, and the police should start enforcing that

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm expecting the Kanagawa police to issue fines to everybody equally. Not just teenagers or people they see as a 'problem'.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Kids with bad bicycle manners will grow up to be idiot bastards behind the wheel of 2 thousand pound cars that one day may take your life in the near future!! So my kudos to the Kanagawa police!!!!! Bravo!! Well done!!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

People in Tokyo are not oblivious to their surrounding when riding or driving, this is a permanent state! I see the hordes of zombies everyday on my way to work. This is by no mean a problem when immobile, but I can hardly imagine the number of scenarios which made me feel like slapping the fool in a station stairs. How hard can it be to leave the god damn phone in your pocket when it is not the right time to use it!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

about time, more please

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This has been a LAW for over a year. This is the first ticket. Why make a law if "law enforcement" does not enforce it? How can anyone respect this?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sorry it's been a law for two months. But for it to be the first ticket is still disgraceful.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Well done to the police officer. As we all know they generally are soft and will let offenders go but to blatantly disregard warnings and obviously safety deserves this.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Finally!!! Can't remember how many times my heart was about to stop while driving because of such people.

great - now how about cracking down on car drivers who text with one hand while holding a ciggarette and drive at the same time while an unrestrained kid bounces around on the front seat of the same car....

Police have been way harsher on car drivers up to now. I've seen a lot of people being caught because of using their cells while driving. They implemented that as a law a few years ago and media made a big fuss over it at the time. The same should've been done about bicycles at the same time, because cars and bicycles are no different as far as traffic regulations in Japan go.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

lesson learned, i guess. the thing i dont understand is how many times i've seen police pulling people on bikes over for no apparent reason but to ask them some questions and check the serial numbers on their bikes. how useless is this? is this even a big problem that requires police to stop otherwise law abiding, unthreatening and far from suspicious looking people?

i can understand her disregard for the cops here because they are terrible at what they do and are the most unintimidating 'police force' i have ever seen

1 ( +3 / -2 )

People in Tokyo are not oblivious to their surrounding when riding or driving, this is a permanent state! I see the hordes of zombies everyday on my way to work

Actually, you have a point there! The other day a kid just walked into my pushchair. I wasn`t moving. He camewalking towards us like a zombie - not texting, not listening to music, nothing, just on a totally different planet. He bumped into the pram, looked a bit startled for a moment, and then the curtains came back down and off he went on his way. Weird!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I have experienced the same, miamum. At 6'2" and 100 kilos I kind of stand out, you would think?! Get people of all ages walk into me like I wasn't there. With so little common sense, it is amazing to me that more pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers aren't maimed or killed in this country on a regular basis! Heck, maybe they are, but it isn't considered newsworthy?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Read the article again, she has not been fined 50,000 Yen, that is the maximum possible fine for violators. She has just been charged....

Then again saw a driver this morning pull over to answer a cell phone, but who managed to block both the narrow main road, and the junction 'entrance' into which she 'parked'.

But agree that J-pol should be consistent, and go after car drivers and especially truckers who violate the rules of the road.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Any Japanese who buys a mobile phone should be obliged to view the same kind of boring, 45-minute long video in traffic safety that drivers must undergo when renewing their licenses.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Any Japanese who buys a mobile phone should be obliged to view the same kind of boring, 45-minute long video in traffic safety that drivers must undergo when renewing their licenses.

Only Japanese people? What about the rest of us?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Go after the walking texters - they're the devil. The DEVIL! Slow and zig-zagging as if they had just downed a bottle of bourbon. (Of course it's OK if I do it.) And double the fine for those texting and trying to walk in platform shoes - like a baby taking steps for the first time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think that's a good idea!

I NEVER use my phone whilst riding my bicycle.

I wait till I've reached my destination or let voicemail take the message!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan needs more COMMON-SENSE government officials!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There's no love lost between bicyclists and me. They are stealthy and utterly unpredictable in their movements. Throw in cell phones and such and you've got one of the most deadly contraptions on the face of this planet.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

IF traffic laws were enforced IF the offenders were then given a penalty there would be NO need to raise taxes! The J-cops should be raking in a FORTUNE but the offenders are IGNORED. Maybe MAYBE this could be the start of a cash cow AND making people realize how selfih and reckless their traffic behavior is thus SAVING LIFES!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I have seen one guy SMOKING, TEXTING and holding an umbrella while on a bicycle... Talk of multitasking!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nice to see my taxes being put to good use. More of this kind of thing, please.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Of course, the police will continue to cycle illegally on the footpath

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A cop gives a kid a ticket for listening to his iPod while riding his bicycle and it makes national news? Is the news the fact kid did it or the fact the cop actually enforced the law? Now, if they would only do the same for the bicycle helmet law, using an umbrella while riding a bike, using s cell phone while driving, running red lights, speeding, excessively noisy motorcycles, reckless driving...... Gees! I coud go on all day!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Tunnel vision, further interrupted by cellphone hypnosis...

Good work, policeman.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Will certainly have to put this artcile up in my room, my coworkers and I have had a lot of talks with our JHS kids about this issue, and yet I still see so many of them doing it daily. The worst I've seen was a student texting, while having a 2nd person riding on their bike, so she was endangering both of them!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow can't the Japanese police do something besides cracking down on the tiniest of crimes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Many cyclists in general drive recklessly. I have seen numerous people holding umbrellas in one hand while trying to steer in the pouring rain. I recipe for disaster. I daily see cyclists ignore the red lights and cross the street often with a passenger on the back. It is one thing to risk your own life but do you need to kill your friend too. People ride against the traffic on the street which is also not the smartest thing to do. I am for the police getting tougher on all cyclist. Let's make Japan a safer place for everyone.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

YongYang what an excellent point! Start actually enforcing bicycling with cellphones/umbrellas, smoking in the street, jumping red lights and my personal "favourite" kids bouncing around inside the car instead of being safely strapped in - they could make a fortune!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What a stupid law. What's next? Let's ticket people for walking while talking on a keitai!!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

It`s about time the Japanese police start doing their jobs correctly. They should do this more often to more people in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have seen one guy SMOKING, TEXTING and holding an umbrella while on a bicycle

Really? How many hands did he have? :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Speed: "This has been a LAW for over a year. This is the first ticket. Why make a law if "law enforcement" does not enforce it? How can anyone respect this?"

Agreed. And keep in mind the officer warned the girl four times before finally charging her.

Betterdays: "I have seen one guy SMOKING, TEXTING and holding an umbrella while on a bicycle... Talk of multitasking!"

It's not 'multi-tasking', it's just plain stupidity. I can one-up it, though. I've seen, and on more than one occasion, a kid playing PSP (both hands) while riding his bike; he was using his forearms on the bike handle.

Greapper1: "What a stupid law. What's next? Let's ticket people for walking while talking on a keitai!!"

A stupid law? Next you'll be saying it's stupid that people can't drive and watch TV at the same time (with a lot of older navigation systems, you CAN!). It's a law for a reason -- it's dangerous and puts the lives of OTHERS in danger. As I said above, I've been hit by a bicycle where a kid was riding and texting at the same time.

Anyway, laws in general need to be enforced more. Wasn't there a survery last year in which 70% of police officers admitted they did not know bicycle laws? There are literally DOZENS of bicycle laws being violated anywhere you look, and if the police bothered to enforce the laws they could make a killing! Riding on the wrong side of the road, riding on the sidewalk where not permitted, riding without a light at night, riding with two or more people, riding with an umbrella, riding with shopping bags or what have you hanging from the handles... you name it! Aside from texting while on bicycles other things that should be outlawed are:

the visors obasan where when riding -- it's impossible to tell where they are going to turn or what they are going to do with those darth vader masks on.

the 'put-your-left-foot-on-left-pedal-and-push-with-your-right-foot-for-half-a-block' obasan who look like they're trying to awkwardly mount a horse. I have seen half a dozen of them fall over while doing this, often with groceries in the massive front baskets.
2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sorry, that's 'wear', not 'where'.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Weeeeeeee! Fantastic news! FINALLY someone FORCES these ignorant fools to WAKE UP!

This is the way in Japan - telling people on the street does nothing, people either need a big accident or a big fat fine to make them realise how disrespectful they are of others' safety while riding dangerously.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wow can't the Japanese police do something besides cracking down on the tiniest of crimes.

I agree. This is not such a big deal.

What a stupid law. What's next? Let's ticket people for walking while talking on a keitai!!

Exactly. I feel that Japan just has too many rules in general and yet, despite how safe the country is, posters on this site seem to always be clamoring for more.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Please arrest all the irresponsible obasans who ride their bicycles on the pedestrian walks too and also export all the bycicles that block selfishly all the narrow paths to a third country. These obasan bicycle riders are more dangerous than tsunami. I saw two days ago how the strong wind swept and stomped to the ground like domino blocks the illegally parked bicycles on the side walk - this is very dangerous for kids walking by. The obasans who parked their bicycles without securing them in bad weather conditions should be fined or arrested too. Walking is good for your health, recycle your bicycles and live a healthy life style in japan by going to your destinations on foot. Obasans use bicycles even for going to the nearby supermarket. It is unhalthy and makes legs look like daikon. Japanese women should take a better care of their legs.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wow can't the Japanese police do something besides cracking down on the tiniest of crimes. I agree. This is not such a big deal.

Bet you wouldnt be saying that if the person on the bike hit you. You would be demanding justice l bet.

What a stupid law. What's next? Let's ticket people for walking while talking on a keitai!!

Yeah a really stupid law, how dare they bring in a law that requires someone riding a bike on a road or footpath actually consentrate on what they are doing. After all what damage to themselves or others could they possibly do?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Bet you wouldnt be saying that if the person on the bike hit you.

No, I'd still be saying it.

Yeah a really stupid law

Yes, I think you get it now.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

What 'narrow paths to a third country' are the bicycles blocking?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Good Job and well done.

Isn't Kanagawa also the 1st town that will introduce the "Bicycle Licence".

Agree cyclists here are bad as many think they don't need to follow any rules, also amazing is that people get on a bicycle and forget all traffic laws they learned while getting their Car-licence. CAn't recall how many I seen turn into a road and once in look around top see if a was/is coming. Never mind that some simply never seem to look before turning, etc. Blank stare straight ahead and if they nearly hit you yell "Abunai" and give you the poisonous look for interrupting their ride.

From what I can gather cops normally will not fine you for a violation, if extreme they will warn you. If there is an actual accident than you will get hit with all the fines, which reduce insurance payouts.

Cop-friend explained it to me once, be involved in an accident and hold an umbrella(example) and any insurance payout automatically drops by 30%.

The reason for the umbrella restriction(includes using a holder) is that a gust of wind can take you off-balance and ..., ditto for texting/phoning/listening to music is that the law states that you need to have full attention on the road and thus need both hands to fully control the vehicle. Ditto for hanging stuff of your handle-bars, illegal now.

The music listening law was introduced(example) in my home-country when Walkmans became popular and people got hit because they didn't hear a car approaching, etc.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I am very happy the police arrested that female bicyclist. Cycling while talking on a cellphone is dangerous. I have been nearly killed several times by girls on bicycles using cellphones. I have been nearly killed by girls on bicycles merely riding fast through a crowd. Yesterday I was nearly creamed twice by girls on bicycles. One girl was riding in arcade where cycling is forbidden.

I know this sounds sexist, but 99% percent of the time I have been nearly creamed by a bicycle a young woman was on it. Okay, a few days ago a middle aged woman on a bicycle nearly creamed me shooting down a steep hill as I waited for a bus. Invariably these women have blank faces and never apologize.

While I have been nearly creamed by guys on bicycles a few times, with girls it an almost daily experience. Why? Maybe it is because guys know that they are not kawaii and cannot get away with much. (But I don't know: when it comes to cars men a worse than women. Maybe there is something kawaii about a guy talking on a cellphone while changing lanes without signaling.)

Anyway...

Anyway, cycling with a cellphone is dangerous for two important reasons. One hand that should be on the handlebar and near the brake lever is occupied. And when you are engaged on the cellphone you are not engaged with what's in front of you.

This is shocking: “She [the bicyclist] apparently thought cyclists were not subject to traffic regulations.”

I'm a cyclist. My bikes can go fast. They are professional. But in the midst of crowds they are humble commuters bikes like any ordinary drainpiper. A bicycle is a moving vehicle. You can kill someone with it as easily as with a car. This is not stressed enough by law enforcement and the educational community.

That this is the first arrest of its kind tells me that big time cycling education is overdue. Using a cellphone while bicycle is only the tip of a very big problem.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My error. The young lady was view images on her cellphone, not talking, when arrested. That might sound especially silly, but talking is nearly as bad, or equally bad. Talking you lose sight of reality. It is like having images in front of your eyes, except they are in your mind.

Given this young lady's age, I am more angry with the people who should have instructed her about safe cycling and did not than I am with her.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes, we need more and more rules. I want every last possibility of an accident removed. No chance, no risk, no spontaneity. Everything should be prescribed. I am filled with fear when I consider that danger still exists. Safety is more important than life itself.

I want this country to be even more predictable and stultifying than it already is.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A bicycle is a moving vehicle. You can kill someone with it as easily as with a car.

No, really you can't. It's simple physics. Force (mass x velocity) vs. human. Would you rather be hit by a bicycle doing 30 mph or a car at the same speed?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

lucabrasi.

Depends on where and how you get hit, studies show that most likely the bicycle will break atleast one leg + bad fall ....

I am a cyclist and a motor-cyclist and many under-estimate what damage those things can do even at town-speeds. A few times my motor-cycling skills prevented me from dropping my bicycle after getting hit by another rider(like one that forced himself passed me to over-take on a spot that didn't even hold 1.5 bicycles).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wish they'd start fining the idiots who ride on the pavement and ring their bells for you to get out of their way too. Too dim to realize that jitensha should be on the shado-.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

the 'put-your-left-foot-on-left-pedal-and-push-with-your-right-foot-for-half-a-block' obasan who look like they're trying to awkwardly mount a horse. I have seen half a dozen of them fall over while doing this, often with groceries in the massive front baskets

smithinjapan - I thought I was the only one who noticed this bizarre and annoying behavior by obaasans. Between them and the oyajis who instinctively climb on their roofs during typhoons, I will never understand it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

A lot of the people on this thread saying things like "well done - now the police should apply the rule all the time" & "what about walkers/smokers/drivers/umbrella holders" (delete as appropriate) will be the first ones to complain when a police car takes a long time to get to a crime scene.

In the grand scheme of things, was it really worth this police officers time and paperwork just because a girl was using a mobile whilst cycling? I really don't think so.

A bicycle is a moving vehicle. You can kill someone with it as easily as with a car.

No you can't. Short of standing in the middle of the road during a sprint stage of the Tour de France, I would say it is a lot more difficult to be killed by a bicycle than a car. A LOT more difficult.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@Zenny

Not disputing the danger of bicycles; I'm living proof with a broken collar bone, broken leg and broken elbow (three separate accidents) . I'm just trying to keep it on the level. A broken leg's no fun but it's better than waking up in a coffin...if you see what I mean :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

lucabrasi,

"A bicycle is a moving vehicle. You can kill someone with it as easily as with a car." No, really you can't. It's simple physics. Force (mass x velocity) vs. human. Would you rather be hit by a bicycle doing 30 mph or a car at the same speed?

Try googling "cyclist kills pedestrain" for some examples where carelessness on a pushbike have resulted in pedestrians dying. Yes cars are more likely to kill but to say bikes dont is incorrect

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The kid got off really light if the cop yelled at her with a megaphone. I read on the AP some time ago when an irate Russian traffic cop shot at a driver who was talking on the cell while navigating through traffic.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

hoserfella.

Called 'keri-keri-nori" here, usually the same people that dismount as soon as the bicycle speed drops too low for them to balance.

Often seen pattern here, approach a crossing slow down, get off, look around, keri-keri-nori slowly into the intersection and ride. This mounting patterns can cause accidents with electric bicycles as the power assist kicks in before they are mounted.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

“Speaking through his portable megaphone, the officer warned her four times that using a cell phone while riding a bicycle was illegal,” a source at the Hiratsuka police station relates. She continued to disregard the warning and was issued a ticket. “She apparently thought cyclists were not subject to traffic regulations,” the source was quoted as saying, adding that violators may be fined up to 50,000 yen.

I bet this cop gets given the keys to the city and a ticker tape parade for such amazing work.

Yeah, it's good that they fined her. But, 1) I doubt this will be enforced as much as it should, and 2) there are a lot more important laws that need to be enforced before this. The police should do their jobs properly, instead of sitting in the koban waiting for trouble to come to them, or standing about with a stick doing nothing.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@spida

You misinterpreted. I didn't say you couldn't kill anyone. I said you can't kill them with a bicycle as easily as you can with a car.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stranger.

Not ridiculous. Once got hit by a K-truck while walking home from the stations(knocked me a bit), cops came soon.

3-days later my left hand started feeling numb, went to the doc 1st question he asked if I was in an accident. Showed him the police report(company also asked for it). After that all related medical expenses were charged to the driver.

There is a reason why cops are soon called to an accident scene here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Lucarasi,

Yeah sorry about that you did say as easily.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Spida

No worries :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

rockbuster: "In the grand scheme of things, was it really worth this police officers time and paperwork just because a girl was using a mobile whilst cycling? I really don't think so."

Why do people assume the police officer in question was going around looking for people using a cell while riding? You DO know that police often stand outside around the police station on 'patrol', so to speak. The man in question was probably doing this when he saw the girl and properly charged her after she ignored the warnings. Now, if at the same time there was a robbery in progress called in and the police officer chose to ignore it in favour of going after your everyday highschool girl checking images, then I could understand the argument, but otherwise it's just silly. Yeah, we may be the same people who complain when the police are to slow to come to a crime scene, but that's neither here nor there. If you check the comments, we're also saying, "It's about time" -- as in, we would complain if nothing were done in such an incident, as is usually the case.

Zenny11: The 'keri-keri-nori' drives me crazy, and causes more accidents than just with electric bikes. How on earth does putting all your weight on ONE pedal while hanging off the side of the bike achieve 'balance'. Like I said earlier, I've seen many, many old women wipe out while doing this.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This mounting patterns can cause accidents with electric bicycles as the power assist kicks in before they are mounted.

I apologise for my sick British humour but the thought of this does actually give me a good giggle!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

miamum.

No problem, your reply got me chuckling(non-british). And I just re-watched "The thin Blue Line".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You guys are right. Just make every thing illegal. Lock us all in padded rooms with plastic utensils to eat with so we are all 100% safe. :rolleyes:

I text on my phone / listen to music / hold an umbrella all the time when riding a bike. I have never hit anyone or caused an accident of any kind (5 years of riding my bike every single day). As long as you aren't being an idiot it's really not difficult to multi task.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Greapper1.

The only reason as far as I am concerned is because other road-members know/are aware of riders like you and give you a wide berth to avoid a foreseeable accident. You will have that accident just a question of when.

And I meet and avoid many, many riders like you everyday as I would assume do many other posters here.

There is an old saying in the Motorbiker community, there are 2 types of riders: Those that came off and those that will do so in the future. How bad the spill will be depends on you. ;)

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I said a bicycle-bicycle accident.

Not ridiculous. Once got hit by a K-truck while walking home from the stations(knocked me a bit), cops came soon.

3-days later my left hand started feeling numb, went to the doc 1st question he asked if I was in an accident. Showed him the police report(company also asked for it). After that all related medical expenses were charged to the driver.

There is a reason why cops are soon called to an accident scene here.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I'm with Greapper1 on this issue.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Greapper1,

Its not a matter of making everything illegal its called common sense most people cannot handle riding a bike and texting or playing with their mobiles without hitting something. Fine you say you are an exception and can do it, but what about all the other people that cant and there are many of them. I would rather be safe than sorry and have some twit on a bike hit me because they where to busy texting to watch what they were doing.

And l completely agree with Zenny11 and his motorbike analogy!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Crossing the street, from out of the corner of my - WHAM she road her bicycle into me.

That happened two years ago, and she broke her nose on my shoulder her face hit me so hard. She broke my glasses which were in my shirt pocket, and that vexed me. When she fell to the ground I was shouting in both Japanese and English at her. I have ZERO pity for a complete fool like her who cannot ride a vehicle safely, and with respect for pedestrians and cars etc.

These cyclists here in Osaka are literally begging for an accident to occur, they have NO respect AT ALL.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

She rode* her bicycle into me;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

most people cannot handle riding a bike and texting or playing with their mobiles without hitting something.

People do this everyday and accidents are pretty unusual. I'd say most people definitely can text and ride their bike at the same time.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

the 'put-your-left-foot-on-left-pedal-and-push-with-your-right-foot-for-half-a-block' obasan who look like they're trying to awkwardly mount a horse. I have seen half a dozen of them fall over while doing this, often with groceries in the massive front baskets.

I would pay good cash money to watch that.

“Speaking through his portable megaphone, the officer warned her four times that using a cell phone while riding a bicycle was illegal,”

That's a brave, imposing enforcer there. Shouting through a megaphone at a 15-year-old girl.

the revised traffic ordinance... went into effect on May 1

Did anybody else know about this change to the law? This article is the first I've heard of it. It's a good idea, certainly, but shouldn't it have been publicised? We've had that stupid deer cartoon for years now, warning people about the switch to digital TV, just in case some old dolt gets "confused". Why is a change to the law affecting how citizens may or may not ride their bikes not considered worth any publicity? Nobody dies when a revered elder uses their TV wrongly - but these thoughtless old arseholes cause accidents on a regular basis.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Stranger.

I will report back tomorrow. Tomorrow I will not be careful or avoid them but ride my own style, lets see how many avoid me and a potential accident.

Foresee a few scrapes and even more very near misses. If you are on the road wear a sign so that you can be included. ;)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ivan.

Those law changes are announced 1yr before they go into effect in the national media(both english and japanese).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

People do this everyday and accidents are pretty unusual. I'd say most people definitely can text and ride their bike at the same time.

Obiviously not, after all in 2005 there were "183,653 accidents involving bicycles. A total of 846 people died and 184,686 people were injured., 34 percent higher than a decade earlier."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If you ignored 4 warnings by a US cop, you would have been TASERED!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

daveyd wrote: @chewitup ya, try driving and when you run down one of them imbaciles and get thrown in the can for the remainder of your life maybe you will change your tune.

What tune would that be? All I am saying is that while the police cracked down on this one girl with a cell phone, I bet they saw more dangerous situations several times that day and did nothing. I have had some incidents with bicycles and some near misses too, and none of them had to do with cell phones. Its running red lights and stop signs and not bothering to stop or slow down before going through the zebra crossings that get to me. I want the police to focus on those because I cannot even remember the last time I saw a fool staring at his cell phone while riding.

But sure, if I got hit by a small asteroid and it crippled me, I am sure I would bellyache about how we should have an orbital net to prevent that. What does it prove?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Awesome job Police Department. They need to be punished appropriately as well. I can even imagine being able to text while riding a bicycle. I can't even walk while texting! Good job!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Those law changes are announced 1yr before they go into effect in the national media(both english and japanese).

Zenny - I never saw any announcement, and neither in a quick poll in the office here did any of my two-dozen colleagues. But they've all seen that ludicrous yellow reindeer thing, all knew about digital switchover before that Smap ponce got bladdered in the park, and all agree that if you don't know about the switch by now you don't deserve to watch TV.

So my original point about insufficient publicity for the change in the cycling law stands.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

About time! I can't count the number of times I have almost hit a cyclist who has crossed a red light while talking on his/her cell phone! They should also ban mothers who have small children on their bikes, one in front and one at the back and who also juggle cell phones! It is ridiculous!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As so many have already said; about bloody time! The selfishness of the young here has gone berserk. Listening to some J pop meandering over the road and at speed all the while staring into a cellphone. I've had it with the morons. TIme to get a lot tougher ...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Interesting how many posts are here: clearly this is an issue than troubles people a lot!

When I ride my bicycle, I try to stick to the road as much as possible, the correct side of the road that is (the left), I brake when turning a corner & check around me etc. Basically I am aware of others - something many Japanese people seem oblivious to.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

But sure, if I got hit by a small asteroid and it crippled me, I am sure I would bellyache about how we should have an orbital net to prevent that

I find that image pretty giggle-worthy too! What is WRONG with me today???! (Sorry chewitup - no offence to you!)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

in 2005 there were "183,653 accidents involving bicycles

Your statistics have zero context, but thanks for trying.

How many millions of bicycles were ridden? What is the percentage of of bike rides to accidents? How many of those accidents actually involved a cell phone? etc... If you could use your stats to answer these questions then they might have some value.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yet again, Chewitup makes a lot of sense.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land,

Your statistics have zero context, but thanks for trying.

You are a classic you know, whenever confronted by statistics you wheel out the "your statistics have zero context line". Like when you say something and then change your stance its always "oh your misquoting me". Just to remind you, you said (and l quote) "People do this everyday and accidents are pretty unusual.". The statistics l was trying to show where that accidents involving bikes are anything but unusual and of the 183000 they are just the ones reported to police. Hence they would be pretty serious one would think.

How many millions of bicycles were ridden? There were at that time 86 million bicycles in Japan.

What is the percentage of of bike rides to accidents?

So basically 1 person in every 496 riding a bike reported an accident.

But knowing you l await your wity response ;-)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"@ Fireyrei:When I ride my bicycle, I try to stick to the road as much as possible, the correct side of the road that is (the left)."

Meanwhile all the other cyclists are doing it the other (dangerous) way around. I think you are putting yourself at danger by riding a bicycle in this country. I am surprised that there are no collisions between cyclers that way.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

After I read this story this afternoon, I rode my bicycle down to the ward office to drop off my permanent resident application. On the way back, just 90 minutes ago, a kid of about 13 rode his bicycle straight into the side of a parked motorbike and flew over the handlebars onto the street (while two passersby shouted warnings) because he was playing a handheld videogame while riding. The crazy thing is, he "endoed" hard, but he never dropped the videogame.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Foxie.

There are many, many as well as cyclist/pedestrian. Most don't get reported.

Often had to hit the emergency brakes because a pedestrian decided I need to cross the road or turn here suddenly without looking. Now I can stop fast as I keep my wheels & brakes well-maintained and use a grip where I got 2 fingers of each hand resting on the brake-levers at all times.

But seen many try to do a one-handed emergency brake and wipe out.

One reason why I got my son his bike too, due to the breaks and other configurations and he learned to control it well. Like stopping without putting a foot down for about 20 seconds, surprises many people here. Slow-speed riding is another skill I drilled into him, any idiot can go fast. ;)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Zenny11,

any idiot can go fast. ;)

You are so spot on there, it amazes me to see the bike riders here zipping around flat out but when it comes to going slow they get the wobbles and nearly fall off, hilarious to watch though. And its not restricted to push bike riders either l have seen it with the scooter and motorbike riders as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Zenny

Now I can stop fast as I keep my wheels & brakes well-maintained and use a grip where I got 2 fingers of each hand resting on the brake-levers at all times.

Absolutely. Until I came to Japan and rode a bicycle, I never had the need to have my hand constantly hovering over the brake levers, but here... well, you get the idea.

As for keeping a bike well maintained, how is it that Japanese will happily spend 80,000 yen on a luxury brand bag, but won't spend a few hundred yen on some new brake blocks? Do they really not realise that the noise that is making everyone in the vicinity's ears bleed is the sound of the metal of there brake block holders against the metal of their wheel rim?... And the amount of rusted chains you see... BUY SOME OIL!!! You can get it from the 100 yen shop!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

When I ride my bicycle, I try to stick to the road as much as possible, the correct side of the road that is (the left)."

True that. Riding on the right has certain advantages only an egghead would see (almost me as I see them) but, HELLO! You are riding AGAINST traffic! I would rather get bumped from behind than add my momentum to a car's momentum by getting hit head on! Also, you might see the danger sooner but then, you are heading straight for it! Good luck with that U turn!

And just another thing I find more important than this cell phone law, all bicycles should be required to have rear view mirrors. Even if they weren't looking at their cell they would not bother looking over their shoulder anyway. Me? I risk the neck strain. Somehow I think I could tolerate that more than broken bones or a pancake for a head, but maybe that is just me? Am I just chicken because I don't have a good insurance plan? Or has the knowledge of techinically having the right of way not gone to my head? Hardly think either will ward off the pain!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wish they'd start fining the idiots who ride on the pavement and ring their bells for you to get out of their way too. Too dim to realize that jitensha should be on the shado-

We all need to get along MrDog. I think your interpretation of the bell needs work? Sure some jerks think its a free pass, but I think most use it to warn you that are passing, which is a kindness to you as much as them. If you sidestepped into them as they pass, it would ruin your day. This may depend on where you live though. I never lived in a place where people thought it was primarily a sidewalk clearing device, but maybe you do. I don't have a bell. God gave me the ability to speak as I ride. Rare DNA, I know.

And I am happy to share the sidewalk when I walk. The streets are more likely to mean death and the sidewalk more likely to mean just injuries. If you want to just stroll you need to get out of the city. When I cycle, I use both the road and the sidewalk, whichever has the right balance of safety and convenience to others, emphasis on safety.

I could not even imagine using my cell while riding.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So 6 or 8 cars zipping through red lights, or trucks for that matter, is not as crime worthy as a 15 year old school girl looking at pictures on a bicycle? Japanese cops are a joke!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

its gonna be a long boring ride with no ipod...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Police, in a first, charge teen

you could cut the headline like that and i'd still be amazed. it's been a long time comin!

Japanese cops are a joke!

most, not all :)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

all bicycles should be required to have rear view mirrors

haha, you're joking right ?

how many people here actually use them on cars / bikes / scooters now :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'd say most people definitely can text and ride their bike at the same time.

I'm just astounded that anyone would actually say this. I would have thought it was the most basic common sense that whether you are driving or cycling you need to be watching where you are going and paying attention to what is happening around you, and you just can't do that if you are texting. I don't know how many times I've had to dodge someone who thinks they can ride a bike safely while texting.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

its gonna be a long boring ride with no ipod...

I'm gonna hafta go to the video DVD rental and check out Ben Hur again and see what he was listening to during his famous ride.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the most extreme i've seen is a mother on a "mamachari", with two kids, no rain but sunny, juggling umbrella and cell phone, and keeping her eyes anywhere but on people or cars. this may be irresponsible and all labels you might want to use, but it's fascinating. I seriously think Japanese have the fastest reaction times and best peripheral vision of all humans. i love them! just hope they take more care of themselves and others.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I find riding a bike in Japan quite exhilarating. The thing to remember is that the roads here are a mass free for all, and everyone will be partially at fault if there's an accident. You have to dodge old women sauntering across the road like they're ocean liners traversing the Atlantic Ocean even though they're seen you coming from 50 metres away, evade High School students riding towards you on the wrong side of the road, give way to cars pulling out without looking, the list goes on and on. The secret is just to keep your finger on the bell and ring it for most of your journey because it either surprises people who aren't looking and they nearly fall off their bike, or they apologise profusely to you even if they actually had right of way, unlike in the UK where as soon as you ding the bell you get beaten up.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Spidapig

whenever confronted by statistics you wheel out the "your statistics have zero context line".

When have I said that here? Quote please. I don't remember saying that here, but let's assume I said it once, that certainly doesn't make it a pattern. Try not to overreact.

And......Thye DON'T have a context, because you don't know how many actual bike rides there were. 183,653 out of how many total bike rides? For example, if you knew that 1,000,000 people had ridden their bikes five times you could divide 5,000,000 by the number of accidents and get a number that would represent the average chance of having an accident in Japan. You still would be missing a lot of information however, like how many of the accidents were the biker's fault, how many involved cell phones, etc...

So basically 1 person in every 496 riding a bike reported an accident.

Assuming there were no people who reported multiple accidents. 1 person out of 500 in a year's worth of bike riding doesn't sound like too much to me and we still have no idea what percentage of those accidents involved cell phone usage.

As I said, your statistics have no context. 183,653 might sound like a lot unless you consider that that is one year's worth of millions and millions of people riding their bikes just about every day.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It took until now to arrest someone for using their cell while riding a bike? I've seen this like several thousand times over the past decade or so... last week I saw a woman riding a bike with two kids and talking on her cell.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

unlike in the UK where as soon as you ding the bell you get beaten up.

OK, that`s done it for me, this is officially the best thread I have ever read on here - either you guys are fricking funny, or my kids have put something in my iced water!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'm just astounded that anyone would actually say this.

I'm astounded that so many people think this is such a big deal. I guess when there is no real crime or danger around people just focus on the smaller things to have something to complain about.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Cops stand outside my Johan and on the corners nearby to catch drivers with cells, and no seat belts. Ironically they never ticket the99% of the people that do not stop at the stop signs which are only 1 meter from where they are standing. Dumb

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The main thing that gets me is the fact that they ride up the wrong side of the street.

Anything on top just adds to the problem.

Riding up the wrong side of the street forces the people going in the correct direction to swerve out into the middle of the road to avoid them, massively increasing their chances of being hit from behind by a passing car / motorbike, or even worse being involved in a head-on with a car pulling the same manoeuvre at the same time in the opposite direction.

Why is riding up the wrong side of the road even remotely accepted here?

Yep; because this is no different to any chaotic Asian country when it comes down to it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I ride my bike while texting, drinking a beer, and carrying an umbrella. Never been stopped yet.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

TimeiClicJul. 06, 2011 - 11:37PM JST. The main thing that gets me is the fact that they ride up the wrong side of the street.

So what if she was riding on the wrong side of street. What is the written law in Japan for non-licensed, non-motor operations like bicycles? If Police wants to be fair, be fair to everybody and start ticketing everybody equal for the infraction. Don't isolate this person only, because it happens all the time everywhere. Are police going to ticket little boys riding tricyles too close to cars? How about a roller skates that cut in front of you? Or just walking with a baby stroller and using cell phone? There is a common sense issue, but don't you think police have other important priorties and this isn't one of them. If they are going to start ticketing bicycles, be fair, start having drivers joke test for non-motor transportation. This is a good way to generate revenue for the dysfunctional goverment.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Not being able to listen to music while riding a bicycle is asinine. Maybe in certain parts of Tokyo or Osaka, but in 95% of the country it is perfectly safe--tail wagging the dog here. There's lots of wide open spaces here, legislators! Why not look outside your bubble?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So what if she was riding on the wrong side of street. What is the written law in Japan for non-licensed, non-motor operations like bicycles?

sfjp330 -- You're joking right? The fact is the motor vehicle laws state that bicycles are in fact vehicles and must adhere to the same laws as cars, buses, etc. As such, they are required to ride going with traffic, and only ride on side-walks, for example, where indicated. And, as stated by several others, using mobiles, holding an umbrella, etc. is unlawful, as it creates an impediment to the operator's ability to control the bicycle. TimeiClic has it right. The riding of bicycles in Japan, at least in Tokyo, is chaotic and third-world in nature. And this endangers both the riders and their passengers, usually young kids, as well as pedestrians, motorists, and other bicyclists. Glad that these laws are getting some attention and enforcement.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

herefornowJul. 07, 2011 - 07:33AM JST. You're joking right? The fact is the motor vehicle laws state that bicycles are in fact vehicles and must adhere to the same laws as cars, buses, etc. As such, they are required to ride going with traffic, and only ride on side-walks, for example, where indicated. And, as stated by several others, using mobiles, holding an umbrella, etc. is unlawful, as it creates an impediment to the operator's ability to control the bicycle. TimeiClic has it right. The riding of bicycles in Japan, at least in Tokyo, is chaotic and third-world in nature. And this endangers both the riders and their passengers, usually young kids, as well as pedestrians, motorists, and other bicyclists. Glad that these laws are getting some attention and enforcement.

If you say it's the motor vehicle law, how many tickets have the law enforcement written in 2010 and 2011? You say it's the law but what is the law doing about it? Hardly nothing but a isolated case? So what good is the law?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Sfjp330 - The law is well and good, the enforcement is sorely lacking (not just this law, but other traffic related laws in Japan too). Most people in this thread are celebrating the fact that for once, the police have "put their money where their mouth is", as it's seemingly pathetically rare here.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They made an example out of her to get it in the news so that all of those who didn't know or didn't give a rat's ass are now in the know and warned. I think they picked the most eligible offender too. Job well done! Disregarding four police warnings will not get you a slap on the wrist. She must have known that. Get a fooling grip!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

they will enforce the law for a couple months and then only selectively enforce it when they feel like it or during traffic safety week, just like the law on parking, using cell phones while driving, seat belts, etc...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Besides the local law effort, etc.

Why did no-one teach that girl that if a cop sez "Stop what you are doing", you desist and reply "Yes, Sir/Madam and I am sorry, won't happen again".

4 calls that is as bad as getting snotty with an Officer or trying to argue with him/her. Both will get you fined 100% anywhere on this dirt-ball if not worse.

Police is Police and if you tread them right and behave ok most of the times you will only get a warning at the most.

Also cops got a looong memory and recall previous offenders and their behaviour towards them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Zenny....u are usually clear. I do not understand you. Please explain . Thanks

0 ( +1 / -1 )

that is as bad as getting snotty with an Officer or trying to argue with him/her. Both will get you fined 100% anywhere on this dirt-ball if not worse.

I've argued with police on a few occasions in Japan and never been fined. Police in this country need to be argued with. People need to challenge and watch and report when the police are out of line. Your attitude is a major problem in this country and the reason why the police have very little oversight, abuse their power, and nobody seems to think about it much.

"Respect ma authoritay." Umm, no.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Legs.

Easy if she was taught properly she "should" do the right thing, we don't do it though. ;) Thus if we get caught we still got to do the right thing.

Ignoring police a higher authority than family, teacher is a no-no, my son already knows that. And there is a correct way to deal with a higher authority, which if done correctly will only result in a warning.

In short she didn't get fined for the cel-usage but for ignoring multiple directions from a higher authority to stop her actions.

Old saying "You get punished for getting caught breaking the rules".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Stranger.

You couldn't be further of the mark as I work and train with a lot of cops here and overseas. Local cops same as HK, etc are very forgiving and thus you can get away with your stance.

But I am sure you are pushing he limits and once you go over ...

Granted also depends on how you argue, if you are calm and make reasonable arguments you will be fine her e and overseas, if you get aggressive, insulting, etc you will get owned.

As for my attitude it hasn't changed from other countries I lived in. Nice Ad-Homimem but it missed the target by a wide margin.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nice Ad-Homimem but it missed the target by a wide margin.

It wasn't an ad hominem and I was just going off what you said. You think people should be submissive to the police, no?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stranger.

Never said that people should be submissive(you are putting words here). Heck, I am not but I do know when mouthing off get will get me into a bind and that also includes social, work, etc.

But Police to have a very high authority (greater than family, etc) and thus there is a correct way of dealing with them, as also exist with family, etc.

And if you deal with the cops correctly you won't get many fines, etc. I only got 2 in 36yrs on the road and both were my fault/violations and I owned to them on the spots, granted got stopped way more.

Now if a teen ignores police instructions how well do you think she been raised to listen to his/her parents, teachers, etc?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

you are putting words here

No, I asked you if that's what you meant. You did say people shouldn't argue with police and I take that to mean being submissive, not disagreeing, doing whatever they say, etc... and I don't agree that people shouldn't argue with the police. In fact, it's been my experience in Japan that passivity will only encourage the police to bother you more. A little bit of anger and an aggressive defense makes them think twice. They go look for quieter people to bother. Just like typical bullies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Views differ but your views are also skewed as you see them as bullies and not people doing their job. Will ask the guys at the next MA training session we do how they feel.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Views differ but your views are also skewed as you see them as bullies and not people doing their job.

Views differ but your views are also skewed as you see them as people doing their job and not bullies.

Just as logically sound as your statement. What makes you right and me wrong? And you can ask them anything you like, I'm not interested in how they feel.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Might be off-topic.

But at one time I just had washed my Honda CB-750C(heavily modded into a chopper) and took her out for a test-ride.

Hit a long left curve in right-hand lane, car in left-lane(South Africa), I was cruising and saw 2 black lines across the tarmac = OH SHITE.

Throttled back and pulled over next to the officer. He was kind and said I was caught speeding(a few km over). I said, yeah, I was cruising and was feeling fine taking the ride out for a test-ride.

He insisted I looked at the meter, walked over on the way back he asked about my Bike(contest winner) so we chatted in the end he said his boss is here so he has to give me a ticket otherwise he would let it pass as the Bike was in order and I was in full leathers, good helmet, etc. Hence knew what I as doing.

Another time got pulled over for speeding, said yeah might have been. Reason I was flowing with the traffic and didn't pay attention to the speedo(who does). He understood that me following speed-limit might have caused more of a nuisance/hazard = NO ticket.

Like I said depends on your behaviour now if I had said "Officer what now. Why are you stopping me, etc." it would have been ticket time.

Similar here when on my Bicycle, they see a guy with good riding style, maintained bike(looks more expensive than it is), protective gear(branded helmet & Gloves), etc and I don't get pulled over.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Rainy day, people with their umbrella's in one hand & handlebar in the other - going at a fast speed....

What if they need to suddenly break? What if a person or a child suddenly steps out in front?

What if your child stepped to the left, straight into the path of a speeding bicycle from behind?

There are clearly, has always been in my mind, two common senses: one ours, and one Japanese. For some reason the Japanese common sense tends to disregard safety, disregard other pedestrians, disregard everyone else for that matter. Japanese common sense seems to be: this is my world, stay out of it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There are clearly, has always been in my mind, two common senses: one ours, and one Japanese.

"Ours"? Who are "we"? I'd rather not be included, if that's okay.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

while i can understand the looking at the screen while cycling but not being able to listen to your mp3 player? i'm sorry that's just stupid, i don't see what listening to your music has anything to do with it, you might as well outlaw playing your radio or cd's in your car as well while you're at it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As I see it, she was ticketed for continuing to violate the law after being informed that she was in violation. The officer was willing to just let it go with an informational warning, but the student ignored him. That removes any possibility of "I didn't know" and changes it to "I don't care WHAT the law is, I'm doing it." If you're going to ignore the instructions of the police, be prepared to accept responsibility for the resulting penalty.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I don't care what the law is -- I'm still going to listen to music while I cycle. The volume level is much lower than many cars I see with the music blasting. And I can hear traffic around me.

Blanket-laws fail the people they are supposed to serve.

How about making laws that ban speaker trucks? Or laws that restrict the decibel level of music and ads played in chain stores? If they can blast me with their crap, then I get to tune them out with my own player. On my bike.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Usagitosaru - I too have never understood the reason why listening to music whilst riding is a bad idea - I have two reasons for this; one, if you are a diligent rider, you will always check around you before making any maneuver, and two, headphones or not, it's not going to stop someone who isn't driving with due care/attention from wiping you out.

What I often see, is people looking at said screen, AND listening to music AT NIGHT!... If you are looking down at a light, your eyes cannot pick up on other light in the periphery.

Though, personally, I'm quite happy for anybody that dumb to take themselves out of the gene pool.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

while i can understand the looking at the screen while cycling but not being able to listen to your mp3 player? i'm sorry that's just stupid, i don't see what listening to your music has anything to do with it, you might as well outlaw playing your radio or cd's in your car as well while you're at it.

Well..... Let's see...

Bicycles have bells, cars have claxons, the police have horns, ambulances and fire engines have sirens, people have mouths... How will you be able to hear their warnings?

You undastan now?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

lucabrasi,

Ours = non-Japanese or, in the word you may have heard used towards you countless times in Japan:

GAIJIN.

Blinkered eh?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@horrified.

Like a Prius running on electric power, etc? Heck, I can't hear those on a good day.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@FireyRei

Ours = non-Japanese

You're welcome to divide the world into "Japanese" and "foreign", just like the black truck loonies do, but, like I said, count me out.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

so are headphones bad too?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

so are headphones bad too?

for your ears, yes

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I witnessed a guy cycling towards Shinagawa Station, while chatting on his mobile, with a Police Officer following in tow, calling for backup, while insisting that the offender terminate his connection! The offender ignored the officer in per-cute, while leading a merry chase, continuing to chat as he weaved through the traffic. I paused briefly to observe this comical farce, before mounting my bicycle and pedaling towards home. I didn't get three blocks before a convoy of screaming black and white sirens, whizzed past me in the opposite direction. To apprehend this menace to society.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

People who think they can talk on a cell phone or, worse, text on a cell phone while riding a bike, driving a car, or just walking on the sidewalk without an increased risk to themselves or others are deluded . Deluded in just the same way and to the same degree as a drunk driver who holds the same opinion. If observing the people around you isn't enough to convince you of this there are scientific studies that show just how debilitating it is. The human brain has a limited amount of attentional processing power and talking on a cell phone, with or without a hands free headset, takes up too much of that limited resource to deal with the unexpected while navigating traffic. People think they can drink and drive, or text and cycle, because, most of the time they can. Most of the time nothing happens, but not all of the time. Sometimes a kid runs out in the street after a ball, or another person is texting on their phone and BAM! For that matter people walk in front of trains, TRAINS!!!, while talking on their cell phones. Don't believe me? Google it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Back to the original story, it's not that the girl willfully ignored the cop while he shouted at her four time with a megaphone, but that she didn't hear him at all...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We all need the hands-free, over-the-ear things asap.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I love riding my bike in the pouring rain without an umbrella. That way I am totally blind and can be hit or hit someone but at least I was following the dumb rules.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The issue here is that the policemen gave her multiple warnings and she still didn't stop using the cell phone. Had she put it away on the first or second warning it would have been no big deal. The policemen likely didn't even want to cite her for such a minor offense but given her arrogant disregard to a law enforcement official, he must have felt that he had to charge her. The girl suffers from a lacks of common sense.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Watched a couple of people in Japan on bicycles, chill-laxing and eyes glued to their mobile screens. Thinking they're all cute or cool. Then BAM!!! Face planted on parked cars. They were so upset because I was in hysterics. Dumb-suma-bit#%es!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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