Bicycle Rules and Penalties in Japan
It is part of the Japanese culture to use the bicycle as means of transportation as well as for leisure. And because the number of cyclists is considerable, there are laws for the safety and penalties/fines if they are not followed. With that in mind, we went to the Oizumi Police Station to clarify some doubts and spread the information we received in print. Check out the rules, laws, and penalties for cyclists in Japan!
▪ Children under 13 should wear helmets;
▪ Keep the left side on the roads. If there is no bicycle lane, you will have to ride along with the flow vehicle traffic;
▪ You can ride a bicycle on the sidewalk only if there is a signpost indicating to do so or when circumstances are unavoidable by traffic conditions. Otherwise, only children under the age of 13 are allowed to travel on the sidewalk;
▪ Slow down before entering a wider street;
▪ Register the bicycle on your name at the prefectural police department. When buying at local stores, the seller registers with a fee around 500 yen and a label is placed on the bicycle. If you buy it online or from others, it is necessary to go to the nearest police station (koban 番 番) for registration and pay for this registration fee. For registration, you only need to fill out a form with your personal information (name, phone number, home address and details about your bicycle).
▪ Transporting the bicycle on public transport, such as train, subway or bus, unless you have a folding bike and it is stored in a bag, called rinko, which costs around 8,000 yen.
* In this case, you must park the bicycle at the train stations.
It is considered as a dangerous act:
▪ Neglecting the traffic light;
▪ Drunk bicycle riding
▪ Riding double on a bicycle, except in permitted spot or region;
▪ Riding a bicycle on no pass lane;
▪ Cycling with broken brakes;
▪ Not riding a bike with headlights and rear lights during the evening;
▪ Use of earphones;
▪ In most areas riding a bicycle while carrying an umbrella is prohibited;
▪ Not yielding to pedestrians on sidewalks and drive with high speed;
▪ Riding side-by-side, except in places that are allowed, as well as not disturbing pedestrians on sidewalks or sidewalks;
▪ Enter a crossing operation
▪ Disturb a vehicle passing in a priority road at a intersection;
▪ Disturb a priority vehicle turning right at a intersection
▪ Neglecting safe passing at a roundabout
Sign 1: This sign indicates that the sidewalk is shared for pedestrians and cyclists.
Sign 2: This sign indicates that bicycle traffic is not allowed. Usually they are found in places like viaducts, tunnels or motorways.
Sign 3: When you see this sign, you should stop and look both ways, to see if it does not come cars or pedestrians, before proceeding. This sign is usually found at intersections or streets without traffic lights.
Warning, Fines and Penalties:
When committing illegal and dangerous acts twice within 3 years, in other words, taking more than one warning, the cyclist must take a course for cyclists within 3 months, requested by a public safety commission with a fine at approximately 50,000 yen. Fines and penalties vary from case to case.
It is important to remember that with the bicycle registration, you can file a complaint with the police and possibly find it if it is stolen. More than that, by respecting such laws and rules, you can get rid of potential troubles, and it is also for your own safety. We also advise you to use the buzzer carefully to alert pedestrians who are coming and drive carefully; When parking your bike, be sure to lock it and check if you are parking in a place recommend for it, in order to avoid fines and do not disturb the flow of passage; And in case of an accident, take measures to avoid obstructing traffic, call or have someone to call 119, if you are injured, for an ambulance and 110 for police, if you had a traffic accident and do not leave the scene of accident until place officers arrive.
Search source: Gunma Prefectural Police Headquarters