Student to be referred to prosecutors over fatal bicycle crash


The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.


©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Bad enough many people in Japan have no spatial awareness while walking let alone being mobile.

one would think a university student would be smarter but...

4 ( +7 / -3 )

It's a lack of common sense with lack of oversight for bicycles that allows riders to proceed down one way streets at speed against traffic, ignore red lights and stop signs etc. When will it change?

8 ( +12 / -4 )

A student who rides an electric bike is probably rich, so some money will change hands and next time it rains, she will be holding an umbrella while using her smart smartphone.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Getting cyclists off the pavement and on the road amongst the traffic would improve their attention span.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Avid cyclist here. There are 100,000,000 registered bicycles in Japan. Why the hell is there not more oversight, better infrastructure, better training for cyclists?? Why don't the police actually do something about bicycles on sidewalks? It baffles me!

9 ( +10 / -1 )

@goodluck - most likely it was an electrically assisted bicycle. They look like regular bicycles, but they have a battery mounted in the frame which runs a motor to help them go up hills, or if they're just too lazy to Pedal. They're very common, and you certainly wouldn't have to be rich to own one

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Bungle - agree.

But then there would be an overfill of drivers in prison for causing death / injury of keitai using, music listening, umbrella holding cyclists - because here the big ones (cars) are wrong and the little ones(cyclists) are always right. The onus of care is on the biggies even while the littlies play.

So in this case the biggie, the cyclist, must wear the consequences for killing the littlie. But I doubt she will suffer the same as if you or I did it.

All jokes aside though - this is normal everday practice near my home where hundreds of students (uni & school) and others, ride their bikes using phones, umbrellas etc. They even ride past the manned Koban - police box - without blinking.


1 ( +2 / -1 )

Well it is a motor driven bike not 100% pedal power and is a motor vehicle, and using a cell phone is against the law while driving a motor driven bike. Guilty of several laws and a drink in her other hand. She is toast and should be punished as a Reckless driver and pay the price. I ride a bike a lot and this is a big issue. Japan needs to add Bicycle lanes everywhere. It is sometimes difficult to ride on teh narrow roads with open 2 ft. deep drain trenches that are open. I been driven into them by ignorant drivers and lats of road rash. Bikes and cars and pedestrians are a bad mix at times and mostly it is the ignorance of the person not paying attention and then regret it after it is too late. Hammer her hard with a good 10 year prison sentence at hard labor and put it in teh headlines and top spot on news cahnnels. maybe people will learn, maybe not. But you have to try to educate all on the roads.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Set and example and give her the death penalty....this will deter others

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

I saw a motorcycle cop scold a foot-powered scooter rider for riding in a cross-walk while a bicyclist did the same thing at the same time without comment. Nonsense

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Holding an Umbrella & Drink plus Earphones = 130.000 in fines alone, most likely also not insured.

Those Bicycles are 'assist' only, go for around 80.000~. All self powered propulsion vehicles need a driver licence.

Cops here don't really fine or enforce the law, at the most they will ask you to stop X or y activity, till an accident happens and they throw everything at you.

Still few Cyclists here use the assigned lanes, few know that the law changed as pavement riding became illegal years ago.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I have to ride 25 minutes to the station and its something of an ordeal just about every damn day. People are using their phones, riding against the traffic, flying out of side streets without looking, trying to squeeze past cars in narrow streets, I couldn't tell you what the view is like because I spend most of my time watching out for idiotic behaviour. If you are elderly or a small child I can understand, but they're not. Why don't people have any awareness of road safety when riding bikes here!?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Good! Make an example out of her no and suspended sentences, please. I have to deal with these smartphone zombies riding their bicycles on a daily basis and it's no joke. Once I stopped my bicycle to allow this car to get into the main traffic. And when it went ahead, this smartphone zombie came out of a blind spot on his bicycle, eyes glued on his phone and both ear plugs in, got hit by the car into the main road. He was lucky the traffic was low at the time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm not sticking up for this silly girl, but thenwaynsome old folks around here blindly wander out onto roads and sidewalks it's no wonder one of them got hit. Many a time I've had to dodge an elderly person who expects everyone around them to be aware of their presence without batting an eyelid.

True this girl wasn't looking, but who's to say the victim wasn't either.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

80000-160000yen. police only stop dangerous riders during "safety week".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

pacint - you are correct you need a license for self powered vehicles, however for scooters of 50cc only a paper test and lecture is required - not a full test to get a drivers license. IMO this is very problematic considering the skills of many scooter riders.

And in not all places are cyclists required to use the road. In my city many pavements allow bicycle use legally.

As this story demonstrates - the biggest problem appears to be, not riding on assist bikes, or on footpaths but the lack of road manners, skills and common sense ie texting, listening to music, holding umbrellas etc while riding.

I call them the zombie parade, viewable every morning, esp from 8:00am ~ 9:00am. Because the police don't crackdown I can only assume they condone it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Still few Cyclists here use the assigned lanes, few know that the law changed as pavement riding became illegal years ago.

Any link to this article? I didn't know that, I'd like to read it

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No link handy.

Old Law was everyone could cycle in pavements wider than 2 metres, new law changed it to wider than 3 metres, under-12 and over-70 can use them though.

Cycles now have to flow with the traffic in the left road shoulder, unless a bicycle lane/path is present. No going against traffic.

Mine and neighbouring city been buildng bicycle lanes and painted markings for cycles where no dedicated lane can be build.

Would be easier explained if we could post pictures like on the old Forum.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Police need to start cracking down on bicycle riding infringements, and I mean not just on safety weeks and with old men and women riding them. On ANY given day I can count about 40 infringements on a walk to or from work alone, and police could EASILY do the same and start charging people; the fines would fill then nations coffers in a week.

But before police can start charging people with doing things wrong while riding, they need to review the laws, since a survey carried out a few weeks backs showed that 70% of police do not know most bicycle laws at all. Cracking down on people using cell phones or carrying things is easy enough, as is not using a light at night or doubling, but old people with umbrellas attached, riding with groceries strapped to the handles, doing the keri-keri-nori, etc.... again, they could fill the nations coffers in a week.

This young woman is only going to face charges because it took her killing a woman to do so. The police here don't seem to know anything about preventative measures.

2 ( +3 / -1 )


I Agree, we got one raised pavement with a width of 50-70cm and daily I see people cycling on it and swaying to avoid the light/electricity poles, people, etc

Most cops don't know the law till they are told to enforce it due to too many complaints from residents.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

pacint: "Most cops don't know the law till they are told to enforce it due to too many complaints from residents."

Yup. Convenience trumps safety in Japan all the time. Best example is when Osaka made cycling with two children on a bicycle illegal after proving that it creates more accidents due to weight imbalance, but when young moms complained it was inconvenient they repealed it. Not because it was safe, but because it was inconvenient. And some posters on here talk about how they don't want to mess up their hair with helmets even if it means losing their heads. Meanwhile these crazy cyclists put others at risk as well.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Any traffic death is a tragedy and it does seem as though the bicycle rider was careless(though I'd like to know more about circumstances) - but let's keep things in perspective.

At the end of the year, when the number of traffic fatalities are tallied, it will look a lot like this:

Total traffic deaths caused by motor vehicles - 3999

Total traffic deaths caused by bicycles - 1

Actually, in 2016, the total number of traffic fatalities in Japan fell below 4000 for the first time in 67 years. Two reasons for this is the low rate of motor vehicle miles driven per capita, and decreasing car ownership rates. The convenience of cycling here and great public transit make this possible.

By all means, enforce the rules (and please improve the infrastructure) but let's avoid overreacting with irrational measures that will have the effect of dissuading bicycle use and encouraging automobile use.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

yokohama - excellent points. I agree.

But, I fear that your statistics don't tell the full story.

A  considerable % of the road deaths in my prefecture are cyclists and many of them were at fault - altho the police don't say so directly.

This problem does need attention now (not panic) as trying to change habits in the future as more accidents inevitably happen will be difficult. And asthe society ages more I suspect more bicycles will be on the road, or if not, probaby more - less alert cyclists on the road.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Browny - more than half of the traffic fatalities in Japan are pedestrians or cyclists who were struck by automobiles. An astonishingly high rate that is much higher than icountries with similarly high levels of bike use. Other cities create protected, separated space for cycling. Japan doesnt.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

yokohama - thanks.

Yes - I know the statistics which is why I said -  "  A  considerable % of the road deaths in my prefecture are cyclists and many of them were at fault - altho the police don't say so directly."

And the key point is many cyclists were at fault.

And I agree having dedicated bike lanes / space will only benefit all, but as road users cyclists must also take on the responsibility of being alert, safe careful riders.

My city has been gradually increasing bike lanes and people are getting used to them. What irks me though is seeing riders not using the "protected by guard rail lanes" as they want the flexibility of turning off anywhere offered by a footpath or road.

And of course mix unskilled car drivers into all of this and you get tragedies.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Browny - When there is no space for cycling, there is very little room for error.

Usually, people on bikes are forced by traffic to ride at the very edge of the road where a pothole, a bottle, or pedestrian suddenly stepping into road, spells disaster.

Without well designed lanes it is actually much better for an experienced cyclist to ride in the middle of a lane. Slow riders, the elderly, and kids need protected lanes.

With rules and roads designed for motor vehicles, people on bikes often find themselves in very dangerous situations and naturally will do what they can to not get killed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Having ridden bicycles and motorbikes I am used to sharing lanes with cars, which seems to be norm in all the countries I visited. Bicycle lanes were introduced after I started riding.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

pacint - that’s fine for you and me, but ask yourself if you would feel comfortable having your child, wife, or parents mix it up with the trucks and taxis over on route 1.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I cycles to work every day and I find I need to look out more for other cyclists than the cars. Car drivers are really afraid of collisions and getting in trouble for it, cyclists are not afraid of getting in trouble.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites