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Japan to tighten regulations on dangerous bicycle riding

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Ringing a bell ? What is this a joke? How about they teach them traffic rules, traffic awareness, road sense, give them a lesson in manners too.

They are either riding on the footpath as a pedsestrian or they are travelling in the flow of traffic as traffic like a vehicle, which one is it, they often want to mix it up and just fly off the side walk into oncoming traffic causing all sorts of chaos.

They need to understand how traffic flows and moves and what the rules are, forget about the bell ringing rubbish.

13 ( +25 / -12 )

A dog with no teeth is no threat!

One year from now bicycles will still be hurtling down the street against oncoming traffic...

19 ( +24 / -5 )

"The enforcement order will prohibit such actions as ringing a bell to annoy other cyclists, unnecessary braking and blocking a pathway... "

Good luck with enforcing that.

25 ( +26 / -1 )

You mean there are going to be five cops tackling an old man riding without a light while ignoring the bosozoku behind them, instead of just four? Because last time surveyed 78% of police admitted they don't actually know the bicycle laws in detail, and they most certainly don't enforce them 90% of the time.

28 ( +29 / -1 )

This is very good news and about time. Bike riders texting, weaving between pedestrians and riding where they are not supposed to is a common pain. How will the cops enforce the regulations? That's another matter.

In a favorite part of my city is an enclosed shopping arcade. There are signs everywhere telling bicycle riders to not ride in the mall. Not just that. There are cute cartoons on the signs showing people who are angry with the bike riders. In contrast there are the bike riders with their dumb blank faces who ride through the mall, swerving around the no cycling signs and pedestrians. Once the local authorities organized a parade with music and banners asking people not to cycle in the mall. Once the show was over the bicycle riders were back with their blank faces.

Well, let's see what happens with this law.

7 ( +17 / -10 )

i hope “blocking a pathway” doesn’t mean “taking the lane” which is absolutely essential at times on roads without any biking infrastructure and drivers willing to close pass(punishment pass) any cyclist straying from his/her allotted space in the gutter on extreme edge of the road.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Maybe start with making actual bike lanes that one can actually ride in without being killed by motorists. Secondly, perhaps make it illegal and actually enforce a ban on cars parking in said lanes. Before you start making ringing bells illegal (it is actually as important as a car’s horn) you may want to sort out exactly where in these cities a bicyclist is supposed to legally ride. Even police don’t seem to know. I’ve been told by police in the same place to variously ride on the street AND on the sidewalk. Only a country that produces this many earth killing oil suckers (cars) would make it this difficult to be a responsible citizen of earth and avoid transportation by motor.

20 ( +24 / -4 )

The enforcement order will prohibit such actions as ringing a bell to annoy other cyclists

are they serious?! Bells on bikes exist to warn pedestrians, other cyclists and vehicles. This is just irrational.

I still don't see the more important laws in relation to riding a bike like requiring riders to wear helmets.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

And first pls ban high speed mama cyari... they drive very high speed with babies .. without helmet also

2 ( +13 / -11 )

Perhaps they should start by just enforcing the cycling laws they brought in way back in 2006 like, kids under 13 wearing helmets, it’s illegal to wear earphones while riding a bicycle and using an umbrella while riding a bicycle is also illegal. Not that anyone would know, of course.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Please sign this change.org petition calling for real bike safety improvements. Enough of these regressive policies from the police and politicians.

http://chng.it/KwQVsH4pw4

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The enforcement order will prohibit such actions as ringing a bell to annoy other cyclists, unnecessary braking and blocking a pathway.

None of these activities seem to be particularly dangerous. Riding too fast on a sidewalk is and so is cycling against the flow of traffic.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Prohibit ringing a bell that annoys other cyclists.?! Is today April Fools Day.?? Unnecessary braking??

Anyone who has lived here for some time will have worked out that the one annoying trait of Japanese on bikes is that they hate to brake. They will cycle around you and come straight out of side roads just so they don't have to brake. This rule just encourages them.

The concept of a bell on a bike is to warn pedestrians, drivers, and other cyclists. I spent a lot of money to ride a top of the range Italian road bike and I put a bell on it.

Blocking a pathway - does this mean cyclists in Japan will finally get onto the road...

2 ( +6 / -4 )

How are they going to enforce it?

Are they going to have undercover bicycle police standing on every corner ready to pounce on every offender? I don't think so!!! Just another useless piece of legislation that has wasted time which could have been used for something more productive.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

What about riding down the wrong side of the street, ...or on a one way street in the wrong direction,...or through stop signs and traffic lights,...or women carrying multiple children while holding an umbrella like damn circus act,...or crossing the street right in front of moving cars...shall I go on?

ringing bells....smh...such nonsense...anything to keep the koban cops lazy!

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Again and again, the same problem:

The regulations are already tight enough.

The problem is enforcement (or lack thereof).

I was in a cafe yesterday watching cyclists through the window. Every single one was violating the regulations in some way, whether it was listening to music, cycling on the right, not-very-smartphoning, etc.

ringing a bell to annoy other cyclists

Ha! How about annoying us pedestrians? When I hear a bell behind me, it usually means "Make way for me! Yes, I'm completely unaware or feigning ignorance about yielding to pedestrians, but when in Rome!"

unnecessary braking

Surely the greater problem is the lack of necessary braking??

1 ( +9 / -8 )

As a car driver the worst offense is changing from sidewalk to road without looking or signaling. A simple head turn to check would raise awareness of intention to merge, but most bicycle riders don’t do any of that. Real dangerous!

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Ringing the bell and breaking. Idiotic.

What they need to do is enforce the current rules. Today I turned a corner and almost crashed into two stupid women, with their kids on the back, riding two abreast on the wrong side of the road. Good thing I wasn’t in a car.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Being on a bicycle here seems to be a license to flout any rule of spatial awareness.

To point out one point out of many, in a crowded crosswalk hooking a tight perpendicular turn coming from behind that causes pedestrians to break their stride and stumble in the best of cases.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Greatly increased use of the electric assisted bicycles which travel at greater speeds.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Supposedly bikes are subject to the same rules as any other vehicle.

New rules that aren't enforced changes nothing.

It's annoying as a car driver to have some half pissed oyaji pedal down the middle of a one way street and act like I'm in the wrong.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Of course going the wrong way.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Cabinet legislators are simply trying to make themselves look busy in order to justify their outrageous salaries. They are targeting the most obvious and least able to defend themselves (Low-Hanging Fruit!)

"Amid the coronavirus outbreak, more people are cycling to work..." And should people NOT be encouraged to cycle to work? Encouraged, rather than punished by a 50,000 yen fine? (Of course they are always searching for new and inventive ways to tax the peons!)

14 ( +14 / -0 )

The problem isn't just the bicycle riders, it's the lack of infrastructure for bicycling and years of ignoring the need for better access and ride efficiency, in the cities like Tokyo. No legislation has happened to make bicycle riding and safety a priority, which is far behind other countries/cities such as Vancouver or the Bay Area/Marin co. in the states.

How many decent bicycle paths are there for access in Tokyo? Few, if any.

Some drivers in Japan think bicycles are supposed to be ridden on sidewalks, and treat bicycles on the roads, as enemies. The road squeeze by vehicles and drivers disrespect is quite dangerous for bike riders. Pedestrians are also walking with iphones, with their heads down, and can be oblivious to traffic in an over crowded infrastructure.

Basic awareness is necessary for all, not just the bicycle riders. Ticketing is a stop gap, lazy approach to the problem. More legislation is needed, but y'know...in Japan, that'll take at least 25-50 years to implement.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I cycle a lot for leisure but would be more than happy for the police to start spot fining cyclists for smartphones, umbrellas, headphones.... As a driver, I wouldn't mind policemen with cameras issuing spot fines for drivers missing the signal and going through on red either. That's how you change behaviour.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

RULES FOR CYCLISTS IN JAPAN:

Find an empty space*

Move into it

If people don't get out of your way, ring your bell or shout "Oy! Doita!"** On the road (right, left, centre - doesn't matter)

Or on the pavement

**Unless you know the person

Invalid CSRF

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

How about teaching people the basic manner of , if you hit someone stop. Or apologize. I've been hit multiple times and the cyclist kept on going. There's some cultural issue here.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The amount of police sitting on their brains right now. Send them out to enforce the laws might be and idea!...

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Hopefully other countries follow the lead of Japan in this. Cyclists in many foreign countries don’t follow the laws either.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Please sign this change.org petition calling for real bike safety improvements. Enough of these regressive policies from the police and politicians.

http://chng.it/KwQVsH4pw4

Thank you! Signed!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Today I turned a corner and almost crashed into two stupid women, with their kids on the back, riding two abreast on the wrong side of the road. Good thing I wasn’t in a car.

Yes, that's right, good job you weren't in a car. We have a state of emergency over a bleeding virus, where is the emergency over the number of innocent people killed by car drivers every year?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

So many car driving old farts on this site. Please show me the evidence of cyclists killing and maiming huge numbers of people. Be sure to compare to deaths caused by motor vehicles please. Then add in the noise and air pollution. The bicycle is the best ever form of urban transportation.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Japantime, this is the japantoday forum and I would guess a lot of us live in Japan so your comment is fairly irrelevant. And I'm not sure which countries you are talking about because I don't live there.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

You know if the streets were properly designed to protect all users we wouldn’t even need all these ridiculous rules that aren’t even enforced.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Are the cops going to stop riding on the pavement themselves and fining idiots who cycle against the traffic flow on busy roads? Wake me up when it starts.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I’m feeling a bit foolish, been here 4 years and I assumed there were no rules for cyclists. And that pedestrians and motorists just had to get out their way. If this wasn’t so serious it would be really funny.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Good luck with that.Japanese for the most part, don't bother with looking left or right or checking for other riders when riding.Gives me the shiz.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Money money money

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Before you bi cyclists complain about the cars using the damn roadway, think about it first. Car owners are paying taxes to use those road ways, are the people who think they have Right Of Way on their damn Bicycle? Huh?

Get out of the god damn way, learn the road rules, stick to them, stop impeding the flow of traffic , learn how to SHARE the damn road which also means pay your fair share, either you are behaving like a pedestrian therefore you are in the same classification ( so stay off the damn road) or you are a vehicle ( so act like one and move with in the bounds of the traffic) or stay the F home.

You cant have it all ways everyway jeeezus, you want to ride your bike, text, hold the umbrella, weave all over the road, (and the footpath) disregard all the rules, laws, and flow of traffic, but moan and complain the loudest, get outta here with that.

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

Japan introduced stricter regulations and penalties for reckless cycling in 2015 and everything changed. For about a week. Then cyclists, and the police, just kind of forgot all about it.

Bjorn Tomention

Car owners are paying taxes to use those road ways, are the people who think they have Right Of Way on their damn Bicycle? Huh?

Many (most?) cyclists also own cars and pay the related taxes.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

RiskyMosaic got statistics to back that up or are you just commenting, because most Cyclists do not in fact own cars, if you care to use facts it shows that to be true.

Most cyclists have no idea of the road rules another fact.

Most cyclists do not even have a car license another fact.

And many of those who do have a car license are merely paper drivers, which means even though they may hold a car license they do not infact own a car, and have not driven more than once in the last year fact .

Car ownership is in the decline fact.

Young children make up large numbers of bike riders who do not own cars , along with elderly who do not own cars fact.

Would you like me to keep going?

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Please ticket riders going against traffic and- god forbid /or-looking at their cellphones.

Ringing bells? This doesn't even happen. Ugh

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It's time the government recognized that motor vehicles are the problem in Tokyo. They pollute the air and they are always driving across pedestrian crossings whilst pedestrians are still on the crossing. They also treat red lights when they turn left as give way signs. The authorities should reduce traffic speed limits to 20mph/32kph and build a dedicated bicycle lane along every road so that cyclists don't have to take their lives in their hands at the mercy of lazy polluting car drivers. People should celebrate clean cycling.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Get out of the god damn way, learn the road rules, stick to them, stop impeding the flow of traffic , learn how to SHARE the damn road which also means pay your fair share, either you are behaving like a pedestrian therefore you are in the same classification ( so stay off the damn road) or you are a vehicle ( so act like one and move with in the bounds of the traffic) or stay the F home.

What a hypocritical comment. It's car drivers who present the greatest danger to other road users in Japan. They kill many more people than cyclists as well as contributing to climate change and asthma, allergies etc. They also regularly drive across pedestrian crossings whilst the green man is still lit and drive through red lights when turning left. Roads are also paid for from general taxation so cyclists also pay for roads. Everybody pays for the roads. Any taxes on motorists are used to repair the constant damage motor vehicles do to road surfaces and to treat those made ill by road pollution. That;s where your car taxes go. So, get off your high horse, and off your lard axxe and get on your bike.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Cars are noisy, dangerous, and polluting. Not just their exhaust fumes either.... think about the tyres. They wear out on the roads, and as they do so, they shed tiny particles into the air which people then breath in all of the time. After discarded plastic waste, tyre dust is the second largest source of micro-plastics in the environment.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@J-Dake

I am all for designated bike lanes, if as many cyclist keep saying and demanding equal access and rights then great. But with that equality I hope they also expect to be equally taxed yearly for owning a bicycle, have proper licensing such as driver's license and license plates, be required to purchase yearly liability insurance, and of course follow all road regulations. No going the wrong way on a one way street, no breezing through stop signs, etc... Equality on the roads mean equality in responsibility. In all discussions on this subject nearly every pro cycling person totally object to having equal responsibility especially training, licenses, yearly taxes and insurance.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Bjorn, what is you point?

40-50% of a modern cities space is used for roads and car parks. How much of it goes for bike lanes?Where I live in Kyoto the vast majority of people do not travel by car, but pay for all that infrastructure and related pollution anyway.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

according to new research, people who cycle the most are likely to own at least two cars.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2010/aug/10/cycling-boom-survey

the vast majority of cyclists also drive a car,

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cyclingweekly.com/news/latest-news/why-do-cyclists-ride-side-by-side-306024/amp

As research by British Cycling found, 87 per cent of cyclists also regularly drive cars, and so most cyclists have already paid the road tax

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/goodlife/11707713/Cyclists-think-they-own-the-roads.-They-dont.html

Can't find much for Japan, I'll admit. As for the rest of your rant, completely irrelevant to my post, but I will ask you to post your sources in return.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

cracaphatToday  09:02 pm JST

Good luck with that.Japanese for the most part, don't bother with looking left or right or checking for other riders when riding.Gives me the shiz.

You should try cycling and you will see that car drivers are just as bad. This morning a black taxi did a U turn right in front of me and it was my right of way. He forced me to brake sharply and almost come off my bike on a busy road. it seems that there's a disease that car drivers have that makes cyclists invisible to them. Or it's just dangerous, inconsiderate and lazy driving coupled with a King of the Road attitude. The police and authorities should massively clamp down on dangerous car drivers in Japan. You only have to read some of the comments here to witness the absolute ignorance and arrogance of many such car drivers and their feelings of superiority over cyclists.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Paul14 time you left Tokyo, Cars are staying, cars are needed, for the economy, the employment, the tax and many other factors, bicycles contribute nothing to the economy, no ongoing tax revenue, nothing towrds the road ways the cycle lanes or anything, just users and takers who think it is their RIGHT to do as they like how they like when they like where they like with no regard for anyone else using the footpath or the roadway.

No qualification, rad test , license, or understanding of their surroundings utter senseless regard for everyone else.

Time cyclists got real , learnt to cooperate and understand how the road and road users behave and move, learn some basic sense , awareness , laws and exercise some common sense.

Pay cycle tax to contribute to the upkeep of the roads, like car owners pay car tax, gasoline tax.

Cars have to obey the traffic rules why shouldnt the numb skull on the bike?

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

I hope the police never start harshly enforcing bicycle laws in Japan. Considering all the bicycles, there are not a lot of problems. Maybe liability insurance could be enforced but for the most part millions of people move around on bikes every day without incident.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Bjorn Tomention

RiskyMosaic got statistics to back that up or are you just commenting, because most Cyclists do not in fact own cars, if you care to use facts it shows that to be true.

Don't know where you live but in our location and many others, people own at least two cars, several adult and children bicycles, scooters or motorbikes.

Some households in the inner cities might own a single car.

In 2016, there were 60 million cars. There are about two hundred million bicycles.

The costs of maintaining the roads receives public funds. I have paid taxes for 30 years but never owned a car. Some of that tax is used for roads, and schools and I have no children here too.

In most countries the car tax does not cover the costs of roads.

When it comes to deaths, car deaths outnumber any by bicycles. Drunk, or jumping red lights is common. Tail ending is another. Using mobile phones while driving.

Cars have to obey the traffic rules why shouldnt the numb skull on the bike?

Really!

In 2016 4,000 people were killed by cars. The numbers are decreasing.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Paul14 time you left Tokyo, Cars are staying, cars are needed, for the economy, the employment, the tax and many other factors, bicycles contribute nothing to the economy, no ongoing tax revenue, nothing towrds the road ways the cycle lanes or anything, just users and takers who think it is their RIGHT to do as they like how they like when they like where they like with no regard for anyone else using the footpath or the roadway.

Bjorn Tomention it's time that you realized that cars are unsustainable. The manufacture and use of bicycles also contributes to the economy, and employment, as well as purchase tax when they are bought. Meanwhile, the import of oil to Japan to produce petrol to power your favorite mode of transport is actually a drag on the economy as it is an import and affects the balance of payments negatively. That means a lower value yen which makes all of us in Japan poorer so actually everybody in Japan is subsiding your obsession with driving a car. Also, as I stated in an earlier post... in my experience cycling in Tokyo it is the motorists who are the takers. They think it's their RIGHT to do as they like, how they like, when they like, where they like whilst polluting the air and hurting all of us, as they are too lazy to walk or cycle. They drive over pedestrian crossings whilst pedestrians are still using them and they treat left turns against a red traffic signal as a give way. Only this morning I was almost wiped out by a black taxi doing an illegal U Turn.

It's time motorists got real and recognized that they are the problem. They are the polluters. The murderers of countless people in road accidents. They should get real , learn to cooperate and understand how the road and road users behave and move. If they learnt some basic sense , awareness , laws and exercised some common sense all of them would leave their cars at home and use public transport, cycle or walk.

Cars don't obey the traffic rules and why you think it acceptable to describe your fellow road users as numb skulls on a bike just further demonstrates your supreme arrogance and lack of care. You shouldn't be allowed on the road.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

@zichi

So then I guess you have also never taken a bus taxi, gone in a friend's car, etc.. and that is why a portion of our taxes go to the road system. But I wonder how much peoples taxes will rise if those 60 million cars didn't have to pay yearly tax, even more is the massive tax on every litre of fuel. Yep once their are more bicycles, and electric vehicles the government is going to have to find a way to replace the loses from the lower fuel sales, and fewer cars will also mean less tax Revenue. The writing is on the wall as cars decline and cycling increases, road tax, insurance licences and number plates for bicycles will be implemented, that or a general increase in income taxes

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

As a Cyclist, I am sick and tired of numerous Motorists - with their lax view upon other Road users - not all, just those who dont care a sh1t, and know that they can get away with it!

Parked in Cycle lanes with clear no parking signs.....

Blindly opening doors, without checking incoming traffic from either side!

Elongated Cars parked outside of corner houses blocking views beyond reach of the property - so you dont know who or what is coming towards you - particularly annoying on a hill, and especially when oncoming traffic doesnt care about you.

Parked Delivery trucks - they park where they like - even obscuring pedestrian crossings!

Taxis - inside lane, without signalling intent to turn left, but ... once you're on their inside, they suddenly choose to do so !

Tail gaters - yes Cyclists do it to others too in order to reduce wind resistance, but hey... do look ahead and if you see a parked car/truck do back off and dont block the person in front of you from over taking that parked vehicle! Idiot!

Police !!!.. yes, they sometimes dont even know the Law, I have even experienced once old guy taking a swipe at me with his batton as I make a legal right turn at a crossing using hand signals and all !!!! I've also experienced interrogation following an accident, which the Police accused me of wrong doing... a year or two after the incident, in which they were put in their place, road markings were introduced - along exactly the same routes I had taken in the past!

Headphones whilst Cycling... ok. This is one of the grey areas I disagree with... people jog with headphones and I cycle with headphones. Exercise being common to both. I however, see an issue with usage of the full-over ear head-phones abuse. But, what about Motorists who play loud banging music ?

Why target cyclists ? And what about those Motorbikers with Loud Audio Systems.... are they excluded from the new law

When forced to cycle on pavements, (yes, even on those small cycle-paths such as around in the Toronomon area), I have to contend with Pedestrians who are focused more upon watching their Mobile phone screens or listening to their music with Noise cancelling headphones than listening to someone shouting "watch out a Piano is about to fall on your head"!!! (I wish sometimes one would literally do so!)

Cyclists in general get a bad rap. Especially nowadays when anyone can simply rent a bike and cycle - never having had any prior training before hand, or even knowledge of road etiquete. The cheap rent-a-bike schemses that have appeared around the streets of Tokyo and elsewhere, ARE , the problem. Not the indigineous Cyclists. Those Rent a Bicycle Companies should be forced to only rent Bicycles to those who are Qualified to ride them... and Licenses should for those users be made mandatory. Perhaps when faced with having to buy your own Bicycle, a casual navvie would then think twice about joining such a Rent a bike scheme... I cant rent a Car without a License, so why should I be able to rent a Bicycle without a License. Were my own Bicycle be involved in an accident - it is easily traceable to me, but not so for these rent-a-noobs.

Something needs to change, and it needs to start within the Dinosaur Government of Japan.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

@proxy the reason cyclist until recently moved around relatively without incidents as you put it was because previously the road laws stated that all motor vehicle vs bicycle accidents were automatically assumed to be the fault of the car driver so drivers would do anything to avoid cyclist even ramming other cars or putting their own lives in danger. That changed a few years ago with the last revisions which now place bicycles firmly in the road vehicle section and equally responsible. Now with more bicycles having to get off the sidewalks and onto the roads, it is time they took responsibility. Oh and the changes were because of a sharp increase in bicycle vs pedestrian many caused by these new electric assisted bicycles.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The law, to come into force on June 30, will prohibit provocative actions such as persistently ringing bells and blocking the path of other vehicles.

Those who bashed the bell ringing, seems like you missed critical part in the paragraph....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If I saw a woman persistently ringing her bell while on a bicycle, I would call the cops, too.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

AntiqueSaving said “But with that equality I hope they also expect to be equally taxed yearly for owning a bicycle”.

Think about how much cars cost the public. At least 50% of city space that could be used for other, more needed and useful things like parks or housing, is dedicated to some type of car infrastructure.

All that space but for some reason there never seems to be enough space or money left over for dedicated cycling infrastructure.

Also, with all the money saved not owning a car for the past 12 years my wife and I were able to buy a house so we also definitely pay taxes that go to rebuilding and maintaining roads that motor vehicle traffic is constantly destroying.

How much money could cities save just on street repairs and maintenance if fewer people used cars? If anything, people who ride bikes instead of drive deserve a refund.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Antiquesaving

@zichi

So then I guess you have also never taken a bus taxi, gone in a friend's car, etc.. and that is why a portion of our taxes go to the road system. But I wonder how much peoples taxes will rise if those 60 million cars didn't have to pay yearly tax, even more is the massive tax on every litre of fuel. Yep once their are more bicycles, and electric vehicles the government is going to have to find a way to replace the loses from the lower fuel sales, and fewer cars will also mean less tax Revenue. The writing is on the wall as cars decline and cycling increases, road tax, insurance licences and number plates for bicycles will be implemented, that or a general increase in income taxes

Yes I agree with you. Although I haven't owned a car since 1979, 41 years, yes I use roads. Part of my taxes help pay for road maintenance.

I use public transport systems because they are more environmentally friendly than one person driving around in one car, mostly. I use buses, taxi's, trains and very occasionally, but not so often a friend's car. I have goods delivered to my home and what we buy from stores.

Part of the costs I pay with my fare is also paying road and fuel taxes.

The greater amounts of taxes are paid by the commercial vehicles. EV have taken off in a big way here, so no fuel tax on those.

I don't believe personal car ownership is necessary in most cases. During the lockdowns or SOE the environment got cleaner because people were staying at home.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@mmwkdw

As a pedestrian, cyclist and car owner I am sick and tired of cyclist not following the rules and laws.

Sure some car drivers also don't but in any given day I will see 10 20 30 even 40 times the number of cyclist breaking the rules than I seen cars. Every day near my house several times each day the local tram has to blast it's horn because some cyclist just ignored the crossing barrier, every single day I have to jump out of the way as cyclist zigzag between the sidewalk and the road. Every day I drive I have to several times a day slam on my brakes because some cyclist ignored their stop sing or red light. I have had 2 accidents in the past 5 years both were cyclist totally absorb in their smartphone and rode right into me even though I honk my horn came to a full stop and just watch as they blindly ran into the front of my car. Luckily I have a drive recorder but in both cases my insurance had to try to collect the cost of the damages because the cyclist had no liability insurance. By far cyclist are way more likely to break the rules of the road and it is cars and pedestrians that most often have to avoid the cyclist.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

I have commuted around 15km daily riding my bike in Kyoto for a year. I did my homework to read up on all the traffic and other rules related to riding a bike in Japan and I can tell you this much: it's actually dangerous following them rigidly. Quickly did I learn the rule is not to follow any rules.

To put it bluntly, pedestrians are godlike creatures suddenly floating into a road traffic without bothering to look up from their smartphone screen – get them breaking skills. If there is a separate bicycle and pedestrian lane on a wide sidewalk, I'm gonna bet my fresh tuna sand that most of the folk are casually strolling all over the damn bike lane while most of the cyclist are either going on the pedestrian side or trying to ring the bell like crazy to get the walkers out of the bike lane. Btw riding on a sidewalk is permitted only if explicitly allowed by a sign afaik and in that case you can't ride a bike in the traffic but must use the marked bike lane/sidewalk. In other cases using a road is expected.

That brings us to cyclist themselves. Riding on the left side is for losers only, obviously. My personal favorite, since you can't do a direct right turn riding a bicycle, people love to switch to the right side before the turn and cut the damn corner like there's no tomorrow. Try to ride a bike on a left side, as you do, someone suddenly appearing speeding up against you in the wrong way. So – many – times – I was super close to an accident, luckily my bike is a decent one with good breaks. The best exhibit at the end, mamachari kamikaze. Two children on a bike, fearlessly speeding through intersections without a blink. Seriously, what level of irresponsibility is that?

Cars, the centerpiece of Japanese urban glory. Of course roadside bike lanes are built for them to park on, ya'll didn't know? It's illegal, btw, yet a daily occurrence. One would think police would do something about it, smirk smirk. Besides that, though, gotta say they were quite considerate to cyclist. Mainly because, as @Antiquesaving has said, they'd be automatically at fault in a case of accident.

To sum it up, police should do some work, not like they are doing much in this country anyway. They should check on cars doing crazy stuff and they should def check and enforce more existing rules on cyclists. Lastly, all the construction work guarding ojisans should on occasion use their disco sticks to smack all passersby walking on a bike lane.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

@mmwkdw I feel you brother!

Kyoto was trying to be a cool green city and promote bicycles as to reduce the car traffic. Gotta say they did some tremendous improvements in building – well more like marking – bike lanes all over the city. Super thumbs up on that. What I could not get over, though, are the absolutely mental rules for parking your bike. Downtown Kyoto, the designated parking lots are full almost all the time and fairly expensive as well to be honest. Leaving a bike next to a konbini is also prohibited at many of them.

There are gangs of old grandpas and other terrible people scavenging the city all the time collecting “illegally parked” bikes. Leave your bike for 5 minutes in front of a shop without marked bike parking place while getting your snack/drink? Leave it on a side under a bridge next to a river where it's not blocking literally anyone? Leave it in front of a restaurant, where again it's not blocking anyone, while having a dinner because the nearest official bike parking lot is 1.5 km away? Well sorry mate, you gotta walk across the city tomorrow and pay some 3000 yen while looking sufficiently apologetic to get your bike back. All that while folks parking their cars daily on a bike lane, no fine whatsoever. And I'd count at least 10 cases every single day on my commute.

Was even trying to complain at the city hall but to no effect, as expected.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I personally would like to use a motorized scooter I can fold and take with me inside wherever I go. Hopefully they start designing it with a folding hook handle for me to pull behind and maybe that hook can carry some groceries for me. I'd buy it ASAP.

Bikes should follow car rules.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Good..

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

That’s great, while the motor vehicle operators continue to mow down cyclists with impunity (hit & run ).

7 ( +8 / -1 )

When I was young at school, there were bicycle lessons in the yard.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

. Once the show was over the bicycle riders were back with their blank faces.

Sounds like you think they should all sport malicious grins.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Many people complaining about bicycles going against the flow of traffic, but that is because most one way roads have “自転車を除く” sign at the entrance. So it’s ok to go against the traffic according to the designer (STUPID).

Also the happiest country in the world changed that rule according to Japanese way and allowing bicycles both ways on one way...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I am all for designated bike lanes, if as many cyclist keep saying and demanding equal access and rights then great. But with that equality I hope they also expect to be equally taxed yearly for owning a bicycle, have proper licensing such as driver's license and license plates, be required to purchase yearly liability insurance, and of course follow all road regulations. No going the wrong way on a one way street, no breezing through stop signs, etc... Equality on the roads mean equality in responsibility. In all discussions on this subject nearly every pro cycling person totally object to having equal responsibility especially training, licenses, yearly taxes and insurance.

@Antiquesaving

Some of those things are already in the woks in case you haven't been following the news. I am for all of those things besides equal taxation (bikes do not cause nearly as much deterioration of roads, are hugely less taxing on the environment, less dangerous etc.). I would be fine for the licensing and all (if I was provided with a safe place on the road to ride of course) but I would imagine the cost vs. benefit of such an enterprise may not be worth it overall. In Tokyo, almost without fail, you cannot find a city block where cars aren't parked in what is I guess supposed to be a bike lane. I try to ride with traffic in the bike lane every day but eventually always have to choose between merging with live car traffic which is of course unsafe and would bother all of the important car people with important places to go, or hop onto the sidewalk with people staring at their phones. I personally see far more dangerous motor vehicle driving on a daily basis than bicycle riding. Ultimately bike riders better treatment and consideration for not imposing themselves on the planet like car owners. In any environment where the earth is actually given the respect it deserves and climate change is taken seriously (ie not likely a car producing country) people would actually be encouraged to ride bicycles instead of riding machines that are too large for the roads they are ridden on (in Tokyo) and which damage the prospect for future life on this planet.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Car owners are paying CAR TAX to use the roads, and also fuel tax , where as bicyclists pay nothing, simply buy a bike ride off ringing your bell, swerving in and out , wobbling around, holding up long lines of traffic disregarding all the rules, laws , manners and everyone else like some entitled little cactus.

Most have no regard for others also using the road or the footpath and have no idea of the rules that apply to them, that is the point of the comment and that is the problem.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Bjorn Tomention

RiskyMosaic got statistics to back that up or are you just commenting, because most Cyclists do not in fact own cars, if you care to use facts it shows that to be true.

Most cyclists have no idea of the road rules another fact.

Most cyclists do not even have a car license another fact.

And many of those who do have a car license are merely paper drivers, which means even though they may hold a car license they do not infact own a car, and have not driven more than once in the last year fact .

Car ownership is in the decline fact.

Young children make up large numbers of bike riders who do not own cars , along with elderly who do not own cars fact.

Can I have links establishing the credibility of those six supposed "facts"?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Half hearted yes sure you can simply by searching google go right ahead !

Understand though those relate to Japan and not UK like some one tried to make a point with.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Can I have links establishing the credibility of those six supposed "facts"?

Somehow I doubt it because he is confusing "facts" with emotionally inspired wild speculation.

Are you suggesting that bicyclists pay fuel tax too Bjorn?

I'm willing to pay taxes to ride my bike if car owners are willing to pay a destroying the earth tax. Sign me up today!

Interestingly I have had the exact opposite experience as you. I find that most riders don;t ride dangerously at all. You see the odd person driving too fast and recklessly but for the most part I think bicycle riders impose far less on the average pedestrian than motor vehicle riders. I've never had to duck into a driveway in Tokyo just to allow a car to pass for example.

And the bells, yeah they are there so that we don't crash into you when you walk on the bike path. As far as I understand they were not invented nor are used primarily for annoying Bjorn.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

*just to allow a bicycle to pass

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I love the way this govenrment is able to focus like a laser on society's real problems... You can't accuse them of doing nothing, just of doing nothing important.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I remember this issue the last time the road traffic traffic law was amended........still here a decade or so later and the people who ride on bikes,they are not cyclists,still have the same basic crappy manners......riding with umbrellas,on the wrong side of the road,while texting,riding several abreast,TBH,they can do whatever they want to do.The manners of the cyclist suck and suck royally.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Bjorn Tomention

Half hearted yes sure you can simply by searching google go right ahead !

Understand though those relate to Japan and not UK like some one tried to make a point with.

Maybe, just maybe: you could have done the same thing with RiskyMosaic rather than insist he provides evidence.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Law states cyclists are to ride on streets, never on sidewalks with the exceptions of parents transporting toddlers and/or children.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Good luck in Osaka...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have been in this country over 26 years and I have heard this story many times over the years and do you really think there are enough officers and or money to enact a huge system.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Despite the fact free protestations of the likes of Bjorn Templeton the facts are as follows.

Most cyclists are highly responsible and try their best to travel safely and considerately.

Cycling is a growth activity and industry in Japan. It provides many jobs in manufacture and sales.

Cycling is a clean, green way to travel as no pollution is produced. Nobody ever died from breathing the fumes from a cyclist.

Millions of people cycle in Japan every day without incident. Very few people are ever killed or injured by cyclists.

If dedicated cycle lanes were built cyclists would not use the road.

Most cyclists using the pavement do so at just above a walking speed and always give way to pedestrians.

I regularly see motorists watching TV or using their mobile phones when driving.

I regularly witness motor vehicle drivers running red lights and failing to give way to pedestrians on pedestrian crossings.

Car drivers kill many, many more people than cyclists do.

Car drivers pollute the air with their foul exhausts and tyre wear. This not only causes the premature death of thousands of people every year but also contributes to global warming.

Despite car drivers seeming to pay more taxes than cyclists. In fact the importation of oil to convert into petrol in Japan is a drag on the Japanese economy as it has a negative effect upon the balance of payments. This negatively effects the value of the Yen and means all of us have to pay more for everything we import. So, we are all massively subsidizing motor vehicle drivers.

It's time Japan embraced cycling as the Netherlands has and encouraged more lazy, selfish, arrogant and dangerous car drivers out of their vehicles.
4 ( +5 / -1 )

Would you like me to keep going?

No please stop. All these so called facts without any support are messing with my mind man.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Bjorn Tomention

Understand though those relate to Japan and not UK like some one tried to make a point with.

Fair point, although I think those trends seem to be pretty general.

But as to your main points:

most Cyclists do not in fact own cars,

"A total of approximately 68,900,000 automobiles are owned in Japan which is about the same as the number of bicycles registered (approximately 69,100,000)"

https://stats-japan.com/t/kiji/10786

Car ownership is in the decline fact.

On the other hand, car ownership in Japan has consistently increased since 1966 (AIRIA, 2015)

https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/71614/1/MPRA_paper_71614.pdf

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So get rid of cars, enjoy riding your bicycle out to fuji for a picnic with your family on sunday then, it will take you a weekend just to get there, or over to visit the inlaws for Obon,...... senseless, but then Green mentality mostly is isnt it.

Bulk Shopping, weekend travel activities, taking grandpa to the doctors, all now just become near impossible.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Well, that's a new argument. Nobody is suggesting getting rid of cars. And even without a private car, all of those things you mention are possible with public transport, ride-sharing, taxis and so forth. Much better for the environment, stress levels and congestion, too.

Do you have the same aversion to electric or hybrid cars? Or just this petty one with cyclists?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Bjorn is right! Cyclists need to pay road taxes like all other road users. Otherwise stay on the damn footpath/sidewalk and ride in an orderly manner. If you can manage that- WALK!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

ExJourno

Bjorn is right! Cyclists need to pay road taxes like all other road users. Otherwise stay on the damn footpath/sidewalk and ride in an orderly manner. If you can manage that- WALK!

At the point when cyclists are responsible for the same amount of damage to said roads through use, and environment... then you'll have a point. Maybe.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Phew for a minute there I thought they were adding running red lights to the list of provocative actions.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

People should be encouraged to ride bicycles more, not discouraged with a stupid thing like road tax, that's such a lame point to make.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The wearing-out of surfaces is proportional to the fourth power of the weight of the thing that sits on it, which means that an automobile that weighs over a ton will wear out the roads at more than a hundred thousand times what a pedestrian or automobile will. (This is illustrated in the real world by how there are pedestrian bridges in Rome and China that have stayed intact for centuries with people walking over them the whole time, while automobile pavement typically has to be replaced inside of a few decades; sometimes even sooner.)

So if the government wants one-tenth of a yen per year for my bicycle's use of the roads, I guess I could handle it. I'd bring a single yen coin to city hall and be paid up for a decade.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The most dangerous thing I see are the mothers on bicycles with helmet less children that scream down a hill and across roads, I really need to look along way back up the street when I am turning left or right in my car because they are coming so fast. I saw one mother doing just that texting at the same time. I think just as dangerous are the mothers that drive without strapping their children in and of course text. Seems to be acceptable here to put your child in danger.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Bjorn Templeton: I changed the air filters in the vents of my Tokyo apartment today. After only four weeks they were black with particulate matter from the motor vehicle exhausts outside. You will be breathing the same deadly cocktail. Will you at least acknowledge that, compared to motor vehicle transport, cycling is a clean and green way to travel and should be encouraged?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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