Police nationwide reported a total of 9,133 dangerous cycling incidents since a revision of the Road Traffic Law aimed at curbing bicycle traffic violations and accidents was introduced in June 2015, the National Police Agency announced in a report this week.
According to the report, the 9,133 cycling violations were recorded for the period between June 2015 and the end of January this year, which marked half a year since the new law went into effect.
The highest number of violations was observed in Osaka, with a total of 3,069 cases, followed by 2,281 in Tokyo and 954 in Hyogo Prefecture. The only prefecture where no violations were recorded was Fukui, Sankei Shimbun reported.
In regards to types of violations, the most common were ignoring traffic signals, which accounted for 3,891 incidents –– over 40% of all violations. The second highest was passing under a railway crossing gate (2,232) and causing an accident as a result of using a smartphone or other devices while cycling, which accounted for a total of 1,152 cases.
Eight men in Osaka and Tokyo were ordered to undergo a safety course before being allowed back on the streets, as a result of repeated violations, the NPA revealed.
The new law enforces sanctions against cyclists who violate traffic regulations more than twice, including requiring them to take safety courses and pay fines in case of continuous violations and disrespect for the law and regulations.
There are 13 traffic violations covered by the new law, including riding through/ignoring traffic signals, riding onto pedestrian-only areas of sidewalks, passing under a railway crossing gate, not stopping at stop signs and riding with malfunctioning brakes.© Japan Today