Tokyo gov’t sets up committee to prevent bicycle accidents


The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has established an expert committee to develop a plan for the prevention of bicycle accidents amid a growing number of fatal cases related to dangerous cycling.

According to government officials, a total of 11,000 bicycle accidents occurred in the capital in 2015 only, leaving 33 people dead, Fuji TV reported. Sixty percent of all cases were caused by dangerous cycling and violation of traffic rules.

The committee will discuss prevention measures, including making it compulsory for bicycle dealers to instruct customers about safety precautions such as wearing helmets. The committee is also looking into the possibility of revising Japan’s current bicycle traffic regulations, officials said.

The committee is expected to provide a detailed report on all suggested improvements by the end of this summer.

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How many are caused by idiots with their faces in their smartphones, I wonder?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

How many are caused by idiot drivers with their faces in their smartphones, I wonder?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

No surprise here. If they can't get more dedicated cycle paths, they are going to need to be more strict with cyclists on the pavement (sidewalk). I am not sure to what degree. As for me, there are times I walk on the street (to the side) as it is actually safer (when there is high bicycle traffic using the pedestrian areas).

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Many cyclists do ride dangerously on the sidewalk. However I doubt that any of the cycling fatalities occurred on the sidewalk. They will have happened on roads, at intersections and crossings, and will typically involve a car as well.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Many Bicycle/pedestrian and bicycle/bicycle accidents too, see those nearly daily.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Didn't they 'suggest improvements' and 'revise Japan's current bicycle traffic regulations' about 6 months ago? The current laws and guidelines are all sensible and safe, they simply aren't properly or consistently enforced.

Just last week I saw a couple of plods in a panda car warning (perhaps even ticketing) two short-skirted high school girls for doubling (riding two on one bike) on a deserted sidewalk, while 2 or 3 other cyclists ran the red light not 10 metres behind them.

They can change the rules and regulations all they like, but it ain't gonna do SFA unless they enforce them. And no, two weeks 'traffic safety' in spring and autumn is not changing anything.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is the police finally waking up in the past few years to cyclists themselves causing accidents, instead of the accepted theory of the bigger vehicle always being in the wrong. It's a welcome move. I heard that the motivation behind it was high school kids on bikes colliding with old pedestrians.

I'm not sure the TMG should be doing this and not the police, because there is no point making rules the police will not enforce.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This country has managed to construct motorways and high speed rail systems in a relatively short time, spending huge amounts of money. Infrastructure for the very popular bicycle has been totally ignored for decades. Traffic rules exist only on the books. There is no enforcement which is negligence on the side of the authorities, who are supposed to provide safe roads for all. How about having a look at Denmark or the Netherlands. The latter tiny country has 19,000 km of dedicated bicycle paths and lanes. Less space needs to be allocated to motor traffic and more to cyclists. Dangerous cycling and violation of traffic rules are the consequence of the failure to provide proper roads.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is definitely a welcome change in perspective. I drive every day, and can say majority of cyclists do not follow traffic rules (or are oblivious to it). I mean would it kill you to properly stop when the light is red ? I guess the thing here is car drivers have to go through some minimal schooling to get a license.. and have to follow traffic rules or else risk getting ticketed. So aside from the occasional jerk driver, most people drive fairly competently. The same requirement doesn't exist for cyclists, and as a result you get a bunch of people on the road being a menace to other pedestrians and drivers. I really hope strict enforcement of traffic rules for cyclists are coming in the near future.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Baktaka - have you ever had the experience of a passing truck nipping your ear? Trust me, it`s not pleasant.

When you see a cyclist roll past a line of cars and trucks up to a red, look both ways and go through - it is usually not from recklessness, it`s from a desire to get ahead and away from the cars and trucks that, are, most likely to kill him.

I agree with presto235 "Dangerous cycling and violation of traffic rules are the consequence of the failure to provide proper roads."

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I mean would it kill you to properly stop when the light is red ?

Cars need to stop at lights, and wait for a green, because the weight of cars means they cannot quickly start and get across an intersection before cars for whom the light is green come. A bike on the other hand can stop, and if there are no cars coming, or if they are far away, the bike can quickly get across the intersection and be on its way.

Cars - high top speed, low acceleration. Bikes - low top speed, quick acceleration.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

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