Rules for riding bicycle in Japan
The rules for riding bicycle are getting stricter and a small fault may end up in injury, penalties and so on. So lets follow the rules for the safety of all. Its also important to make others follow the rules. Here is a 6 pager booklet distributed by the police. See the gist in English under the image of each page. Unfortunately the official English translation is not available. I am giving a simple translation.
By the way, as per road traffic safety rules, walkers must walk on the footpath on right side of the road and not on left side of the road. 99.9999999% people walk on left side. Walking on right side helps you in seeing the vehicles coming towards you.
- Ride the bicycle basically on road. Footpath is exceptional.
- Ride on left side of the road.
- If riding on footpath, give priority to walkers and ride on side closer to the road.
- Follow safety rules (no drunk riding, no double seat riding, no parallel riding with anothe bicycle, headlight usage at night, following signals and safety check at crossings).
- Children to wear helmets
Riding bicycle basically on road
- Normally, ride the bicycle on roads unless there is a sign board as shown in right top.
- Kids below 13 years of age, old age people above 70 years of age and physically challenged people can ride on footpath anytime.
- In case of road construction or repairs etc or when the road is very narrow and it is considered dangerous to ride bicycle on the road, one can use footpath.
Riding on left side
- Ride the bicycle on the left side of the road. If found guilty, penalty of max 50,000 yen cash or 3 months of jail.
- If bicycle road is specified (blue color these days), ride the bicycle on it. If found guilty, penalty of max 20,000 yens or taking driving instructions.
- Ride bicycle on left side of the road and on right side of the footpath. If causing disturbance to walkers, give preference to walkers. If found guilty, penalty of max 20,000 yens or taking driving instructions.
Follow safety rules
- Dont do drunk riding. If found guilty, penalty of 1 million yen or under 5 years of jail.
- Dont ride double seat. If found guilty, penalty of max 20,000 yen or taking driving instruction lessons.
- Do not ride parallely with another bicyle. If found guilty, penalty of max 20,000 yen or taking driving instruction lessons.
- Put on the headlight in night. If found guilty, penalty of max 50,000 yen.
- Follow the signals. If found guilty, penalty of max 50,000 yen or upto 3 months in jail.
- Must stop at STOP sign boards, confirm safety and proceed. If found guilty, penalty of max 50,000 yen or upto 3 months in jail.