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Not all cyclists are mindful of pedestrians and fatal accidents involving bicycles are on the rise. As the number of elderly pedestrians is expected to increase in the future, we decided strong action

15 Comments

Takayuki Ishii, head of the National Police Agency's traffic bureau, referring to recently issued traffic safety guidelines for cyclists. (Yomiuri Shimbun)

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W I D E N T H E R O A D S !

Simple. Start giving cyclists a place to go that is safe. Also, keep those damned motorcycles out of my bike lane. I love f-ing them off every time I slide by them at an intersection.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Japanese people in general are very unaware of where their bodies are. Maybe the extra long intestines took away that important aspect of being human.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I do not want to ride my bike on the road if there is a sidewalk. Crackdown on speeders, and illegally parked cars rather than force bicyclists on the road.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I talked to a cool old guy on the bus. He said bicycles on sidewalks is why he doesn't like to walk anymore, too dangerous.

I prefer to ride on the road, as a bicyclist, and as a pedestrian, I am damned sick of bicycles always ringing their annoying little bells, to make you get out of their way.

Walking and bicycling should be separate!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

When I first came to Japan some 20 years ago, cyclists had good manners and did not ride at excessive speeds. Now a lot of them ride like idiots not only on footpaths but in shopping malls. All they need to do is ride in a respectful way, walk their bikes through the malls as they are supposed to and there would be no problems.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

100million, if you happen to live in Tokyo, you would easily understand that's not possible, unless the city is rebuild.

The illegal parking is a problem, and it is harshly addressed (I talk about Tokyo now), you see all those old dudes in blue/green clothes that patrol the streets and give parking tickets. It's about 20,000 yen and two points for one offense, I don't see how can make it harsher.

My solution would be the police to enforce traffic rules for bicyclists and pedestrians too. Pass a red light, get a ticket, regardless if you drive a car, a bicycle or you walk. It's an efficient method, in my home country works well.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"Japanese people in general are very unaware of where their bodies are."

Yes! Very true. I am so happy to hear that others have picked up on this too. I am thinking to launch a series of "Spacial Awareness" programs for people who can't seem to understand that their bodies and baggage take up space.

It is a wonder that legions of people are not killed by cyclists, cars, pedestrians and the highly dangerous train Obachans every year.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"Fatal accidents involving bicycles" includes cyclist deaths from being hit by cars. So it's iInteresting how they name pedestrians and cyclists without saying a word about motor vehicle drivers.

Anyone know where the guidelines are?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

JT Readers, Seriously, this is so wrong of the National Police Agency. I just bought my bike. I've been riding a lot lately.

It's a battlefield out there. The sidewalk truly is the most dangerous place to ride. Low hanging trees, blind spots, it narrows in some areas, Then you have to watch out for the people too. It's better to ride in the street but some people are scared cause the drivers might sideswipe you.

The NPA wants to give out tickets. What they need is proper training and most importantly, better roads and sidewalks. STOP PAYING THE YAKUZA TO BUILD YOUR ROADS!!

There are ways to make the Earth greener and riding a bike is one of them. In order to do so we have to feel that we can do it safely and not get harassed every 2km.

Getting T-Boned on a bike is the most painful and most dangerous accidents one could have. It is PAINFUL.

My opinion of the NPA is this. Keystone Kapers!!! I've seen the Bosozuku cruise through red lights IN FRONT of the police with impunity. The best these guys can do is a full Mama-Chari felony stop? They suck, seriously. But now you know who the real yaks are.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Not all drivers are mindful of cyclists and fatal accidents involving bicycles are on the rise. As the number of elderly drivers is expected to increase in the future, we decided strong action was needed now.

How about that because that is going to be the headline if they a) shove bikers on the road and b) don't start making bike lines and c) don't start educating drivers about bikers.

Life in Japan would be so much easier if those on sidewalks actually looked around and took notice of those around them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Takayuki Ishii, you are a bonehead! Swapping elderly deaths on the sidewalk for quadruple the number of young people dead on the street is what your idiotic idea will get you. In case you don't realize it, this country needs every young person alive to have a future.

This guy is going to lead us out of the frying pan and into the fire!

Strong action is surely needed, but this isn't it.

The sidewalk truly is the most dangerous place to ride.

Depends on your awareness, speed, the particular stretch of road or sidewalk, etc.

Grandmas who cycle slower than I can walk, and wobblier than a drunken monkey do not belong on the street.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

One of the most annoying things about cyclists in Japan is how many people are stupid enough to talk on the phone or write messages while cycling. This is far more dangerous than driving through tight passages or amidst pedestrians or together with cars on the road. Bicycles belong on a separate lane since cyclists can then drive at various speeds according to their needs. There is no reason that they should not be allowed to go fast if the necessary space is provided for.

Admittedly, they are suicidal enough to use their phones this while driving a car or walking as well. This should be penalised harshly. The best penalty would be to confiscate their SIM cards for a day. Imagine all these phone-lovers having to live one or two days without it.

Ah yes, and the umbrella drivers. If it rains hard enough that you really need an umbrella than the bike is not a good option. Leave it at home and walk or use public transportation.

All that said - I love going by bike. In that respect I agree 100% with NetNinja.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Newsflash to all Japanese cyclists: the RING BELL is there for a reason. Use it! Especially when approaching someone from behind!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thanks Johannes Weber.

You are totally right about the phone thing. I found the perfect solution at Tokyu Hands. It's an Iphone holder that you set on the handlebar. If you know your IPhone well, it's easy to dial by voice commands and the Speakerphone is a big plus.

Hold "HOME" till you hear the the tone. Then say "Dial and the name of the person" If there are multiple numbers then just listen and repeat the option you hear. Finally click speaker phone. Now you are riding and talking at the same time. Concentrating on the road at the same time.

Texting is impossible, don't try it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One of the most annoying things about cyclists in Japan is how many people are stupid enough to talk on the phone or write messages while cycling

The same could be said about those walking though.

With comments about the bell, people complain if you ring them, people complain if you don't. Give bikers a place to bike and well, issue solved. Thing is, the government can't be bothered. I bike on the road and feel I put my life on the line when I do. I avoid sidewalks and the like because the people in Japan can't seem to walk straight, with their head up and taking in what is around them. They walk in packs three-four abreast, are on their phones, walking back and forth, stop when they feel like it without thinking of who may be behind them... I hate WALKING on sidewalks here, let alone biking.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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