Bicycle Safety

Please ride safely: Translated from materials provided by the Japanese government[edit]

Bicycles are a great way to get around. Please ride safely. (There have been traffic accidents involving bicycles and pedestrians, bicycles and other bicycles, and bicycles by themselves. Many of these have resulted in serious injury or fatalities.)

Please follow bike safety rules and guidelines.

Japanese official guidelines for safely riding a bicycle:[edit]

  1. Bicycles must, in principle, use the road. Using the sidewalk is an exception.
  2. You must ride on the left side of the road.
  3. On the sidewalk, pedestrians have priority. If you ride on the sidewalk, you must ride slowly on the road side of the sidewalk.
  4. Observe safety rules:
    • No riding under the influence of alcohol, having two people on a bike (except when one is a child who is below six years old), or riding parallel (side by side).
    • Turn on your bike light at night.
    • At an intersection, observe the traffic light or signs, come to a complete stop, and make sure it's safe before proceeding.
  5. Children should wear a helmet.

Japanese regulations state that when riding a bike, do not:[edit]

  1. Ignore a traffic light.
  2. Ignore a stop sign.
  3. Interfere with pedestrians.
  4. Ride in the pedestrian crosswalk (when this interfers with the pedestrians).
  5. Ride bicycles in parallel (side by side).
  6. Ride on the sidewalk (see guidelines above).
  7. Ride on the right side of the road.
  8. Ride with 2 people on a single bicycle (except when one is a child who is below six years old).
  9. Ride without a bike light when it is getting dark and is dark.
  10. Ride while holding an open umbrella.
  11. Ride an improperly maintained bicycle (brake problems, no reflectors, etc.).
  12. Ride where riding is prohibited.
  13. Ride under the influence of alcohol.
  14. Ride with excessive speed.
  15. Enter a railroad crossing when the bars are coming down or down.
  16. Use a cell-phone (talking, looking at the screen).
  17. Carry big baggage.
  18. Use headphones.

You will be held responsible if you cause an accident with your bicycle:[edit]

  • If you cause the injury or death of another person, you may be held criminally liable for "gross negligence resulting in death or bodily injury."
  • For civil liability, you will be responsible for compensating the victim for damages.

Back to Bicycles and motorcycles[edit]