A study group formed by the Tokyo metropolitan government to come up with measures to lower the number of accidents involving cyclists, as well as improve cycling etiquette, is recommending that bicycles have number plates.
The group, consisting of experts in the fields of traffic safety and education, said that requiring bicycles to have number plates would make cyclists more responsible and reduce the number of abandoned bikes, Sankei Shimbun reported.
The metropolitan government says it is costly for the city to dispose of abandoned bicycles. By having a number plate registration system similar to automobiles, owners of abandoned bicycles will be easier to track down.
Shigeru Morichi, professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies and the leader of the study group, said that the current situation is terrible, Sankei reported. He said the number of accidents involving bicycles is increasing.
In January, new rules took effect that are designed to keep bike riders on the left side of the road. Tokyo is also looking into setting up special color-coded lanes for cyclists.
The National Police Agency is planning to toughen rules for sidewalk cyclists in order to cut back on the number of accidents involving bicycles colliding with pedestrians.
According to police, the consistently high rate of collisions in recent years has caused them to consider restricting the areas where cyclists can ride their bicycles.
Police are also hoping to introduce safe riding education schemes, to crack down on drunk cycling and to eventually introduce more dedicated cycling lanes on busy streets.
All the proposals by the study group will be discussed by the Tokyo metropolitan government in September.© Japan Today