August 28, 2015

Wander the streets of any typical Tokyo suburb on a weekday morning and you're likely to be astounded by the number of mothers cycling with one, sometimes two, and occasionally three children on their bicycles as they ferry their little ones to kindergarten.  Visit later in the day and you'll observe even more women darting through the suburban streets by bike on their way to the grocery store, dry cleaners, the gym, or to lunch with friends.

While I'm personally not keen on the label, women have been said to be the "indicator species" of healthy cycling cultures the world over, and judging by the number of women cycling around Tokyo the cycling culture here is alive and well. But just how accurate an indicator is it and when we compare Japan to other nations are we comparing apples to apples?

Like it or not Japan has a very 1950's attitude towards women in that the vast majority of women leave the workforce to become housewives soon after marriage. While many Japanese women pursue University education and meaningful work the startling fact is that 70% of working women leave the workforce after their first child. Lack of support, limited and expensive child care, long work hours, discrimination and societal pressure combine to force women out of the workforce and into their homes once they start a family.

For Japanese women it is a matter of choosing between family or career as society makes it difficult to have both.

With an ageing population and low birthrate straining the economy the Japanese government is pursuing two seemingly competing policies to solve the problem. One is to encourage women to have more children, while the second is to encourage them back to the workforce.

Without opening the doors to mass immigration the future of Japan's economy lies with the women of Japan who are governed by out of touch, grumpy old men with attitudes towards women straight from the stone-age as was evidenced last year when female lawmaker Ayaka Shiomura was heckled with sexist comments such as 'hurry up and get married' and 'can't you give birth?' by members of Japans ruling party.

Just today Prime Minister Abe opened the World Assembly For Women in Tokyo with a speech which promised better working conditions and equal pay for women, more generous maternity leave options, flexible work hours and an increase in affordable child care spaces, clearly aiming to achieve the best of both worlds, more children and more women in the workforce.  But with mounting economic pressures all this talk may be too little to late because even if Abe and his cronies could push through these reforms they'd still be faced with the bigger problem of changing the attitudes of a society that still overwhelmingly believes the woman's place to be the home.

With all this focus on women the Japanese government is completely ignoring the family revealing that despite all their plans the they still consider raising children to be women's work rather than facing the wide range of reforms required to truly give men and women equal footing not only in the workplace but also in the home.

But wait, weren't we talking about cycling?

Tokyo's neighbourhoods with their compact and convenient design where all life's daily needs are but a short distance away encourage cycling as the fastest and most efficient form of transport.   Therefore with so many women responsible for ferrying children to school, doing the shopping, banking, making trips to the dry cleaners, the doctor's or chemist it stands to reason that the number of daily trips made by bicycle by females in Tokyo is so high.

So while Tokyo's everyday cycling culture is certainly thriving, societies attitudes towards women are skewing the numbers and thus trying to compare cycling in Japan to that of other nations based on the participation rate of women really isn't comparing apples to apples. Cities, societies, populations are incredibly complex and fascinating, no two are alike and trying to compare them based on a small number of variables will never yield meaningful results.

The answer to building great cycling cities is not to simply emulate other great cycling cities, but to take the ideas from those places and adapt them to your city and its people because we're all uniquely different.

July 26, 2015

I was recently speaking at a conference attended by Tokyo Metropolitan Government officials, and Tokyo Olympic Planning Committee members discussing cycling infrastructure options surrounding the Tokyo 2020 Olympics when the question about the legality of sidewalk cycling was opened to the floor. "Is it legal or not?", was the simple question posed and the range of blatantly incorrect answers was simply astounding.

Under the Japanese Road Traffic Act bicycles have always been considered light vehicles and are required to use the road and obey the laws of the road as would any other vehicle. But in the early 1970's as Japanese became more affluent and private car ownership boomed, so did collisions between motor vehicles and cyclists which prompted a change to the road traffic act allowing bicycles to use sidewalks which were specifically marked as being appropriate for shared use.

Of course as motor vehicle ownership increased even further so did the number of designated shared use sidewalks. The law was amended yet again to allow cycling on all sidewalks greater then 3 meters in width, and to allow cycling in the sidewalk in cases where the road is impassable, or considered too dangerous, and that is where it all came undone.

"Dangerous" is not defined, it is completely arbitrary. I cycle the roads of Tokyo every single day and consider the routes I choose to be perfectly safe. Perfectly safe for me that is, I don't want my wife and children being forced to ride those same roads because they're certainly not safe enough for them. I'm comfortable on roads that other people should not be forced to cycle because I'm a vehicular cyclist while the majority of cyclists in Japan are not.

Given Tokyo's lack cycling lanes and paths the majority of people cycling here (remember they're mothers, children, the elderly, businessmen, just getting around town, not bicycle commuters or "cycling enthusiasts") consider ALL roads to be unsafe which has resulted in the perception that is perfectly legal to cycle on ALL sidewalks.

This vagueness in the law has resulted in a situation where everyone rides on the sidewalks all of the time, and while that was never the intention, given the poor state of Japan's cycling infrastructure, that is how it has been interpreted by the people.

Until recently pedestrians and cyclists have existed in harmony in their limited shared space, but of late tensions have been rising between pedestrians and cyclists as they battle for precious space on Japan's narrow streets.

I believe that Japanese society is changing and that this change is altering the way people interact in all shared public spaces, not just sidewalks. Now I'm no sociologist or anthropologist, but I believe in Japan's post war years and rapid rise to become the worlds second largest economy there was overwhelming sense of harmony in Japanese society as the entire nation worked together to repair the damage from the war and largely grew prosperous together.

During the bubble years of the 1980's Japan was immensely proud of the fact that the entire citizenry was considered to be middle class and the gap between rich and poor was extremely low for a developed nation. But with the bursting of the bubble in the early 90's and the resulting decades of economic stagnation and deflation, the gap between rich and poor has grown and we're becoming a nation of haves and have-nots.  The perception that we're all in this together, working hard for a better future, is slowly eroding to the point where it has become every man and woman for themselves.

Maybe I'm taking a long shot, but as the income gap widens I believe people become less generous, put themselves and their families ahead of everyone else, and indeed become more selfish and this translates into being less generous and more selfish with public space.

As a result we are seeing more confrontation on the sidewalk between cyclists and pedestrians as both make a firm claim to "their" space. Both cyclists and pedestrians are less willing to give up "their" space for others, speeding and impatient cyclists, ring their bells angrily at pedestrians who resent having to give up "their" space to let another person past. As I said, it maybe a long shot, but I don't believe the sidewalks are any more crowed than they have been in the past, and that the increased danger and discontent on the nations sidewalks stems from a troubled economy.

Am I drawing too long a bow?

Whatever the cause of recent confrontation on Japan's sidewalks, the obvious solution is to stop treating cyclists as pedestrians, stop treating them as vehicles, and committing to providing infrastructure so they can travel safely in their own space.

July 23, 2015

Inspired by hard working groups such as the Dutch Cycling Embassy the Cycling Embassy of Denmark, and the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain the Cycling Embassy of Japan launched in Tokyo today.

The Embassy is dedicated to promoting cycling as a healthy, socially responsible, economically sustainable and environmentally friendly means of transportation, the support and betterment of which can only improve the design of our cities, the health of communities within them and the lifestyles of individuals within those.

Using an extensive local and international network the Embassy aims to import best practices in regards to cycling and cycling infrastructure to Japan, and to promote Japan's vibrant cycling culture to the world. In particular the embassy strives to dispel the myth that a city can grow too large to support cyclists, as Tokyo's 16.5% modal share clearly disproves.

Locally the Embassy is working hard to unite many small and diverse cycling groups around the nation encouraging them to work together and support each other so that their combined voices and opinions will be heard at a national level. The Embassy acts as a conduit linking individuals, advocacy organizations, businesses and government bodies for the betterment of cycling around the nation.

In order to better serve the cycling community the Cycling Embassy of Japan offers numerous services including guided urban design and architecture Tours, lectures, presentations, consulting and research. Professional designers and photographers at the embassy also provide photography, video and design services that cover all your media needs.

Upon launch the Embassy released the Japan Cycling Handbook, a concise booklet filled with tips and informative graphics regarding all aspects of cycling in Japanese cities covering topics such as parking, laws, security, sidewalk and road cycling. Unlike guides which simply parrot the laws the Japan Cycling Handbook describes cycling as it is practiced daily and demonstrates how to best fit in with local cycling customs. The guide has been released under the Creative Commons License and we openly encourage its redistribution in an unaltered format for noncommercial purposes.

In addition to this the Cycling Embassy of Japan will be hosting a twilight ride (The Firefly Ride) on August 22nd coinciding with Tokyo's annual Pedal Day festivities. We encourage participants to decorate their bicycles with lights and sound, with prizes being awarded for the best decorated bicycle and/or riders.

Finally, the Ambassador of The Cycling Embassy of Japan already has a number of speaking engagements around South East Asia in the coming months and looks forward to the possibly of presenting at Velocity Global 2016 in Taiwan.

July 01, 2015

Tell kids they’re going on a walking tour of a city, and they may be interested for a while – until their legs give out and boredom sets in. Tell them they’re biking around a city, and they’ll be attentive and happy for hours. Renting bikes and taking city bike tours is the ultimate life hack of family traveling. It’s a great way to explore your own city with your family, too.

Finding Great Bike Tours

The easiest way to explore a city on a bike is through a bike tour. Tour guides who know the city will navigate, leaving you free to enjoy the experience with your family. Plus, bike tours provide the bikes, so you don’t need to worry about renting them. The best city bike tours combine biking fun with cultural and historical lessons. Look for a tour operator that caters to kids (you’ll see kid-sized rentals available and photos of kids on the website), offers multiple stops en route, and provides snacks. Aim for a tour that’s shorter than four hours long. My favorite bike tour operator is Bike and Roll, located in cities all over the United States.

Sizing a Bicycle for a Child

Bike Rentals for the Whole Family

If you opt to rent bikes on your own, do your research ahead of time to ensure bike rentals will be available for everyone in your family.

Size kids on bikes before leaving home: Check your kids’ bike sizes (often determined by the wheel size) before your trip. This way, you’ll be able to accurately communicate to bike rental companies what size you’ll need. Kids should be able to stand astride their bike and place both feet on the ground.

Call rental companies ahead of time: When you call to check bike inventory, let bike rental shop personnel know the exact size of the bikes you’ll need. Ask about bike trailers and infant bike seats for younger riders, but be sure they’re offering a model you’re comfortable with. Don’t forget to ask about helmet rentals, too.

Just because you can ride somewhere, doesn’t mean you should: After ensuring the rental company can accommodate all ages, ask about safe biking routes. Just because your preschooler can ride in a given city doesn’t mean there are safe routes for doing so. The good news: if there’s a bike rental company servicing an area, there are likely to be appropriate bike trails there. Ask for them!

Biking Rules of the Road

Staying Safe While City Biking

The good news is that cities are meant for cyclists! Many city-dwellers commute via bike, so large cities are usually well equipped with bike lanes and drivers are used to cyclists. But city riding can be daunting to visitors used to quieter streets. To stay safe, follow these tips:

  1. Look for bike paths whenever possible. Most cities have wonderful bike paths, located in the most scenic parts of the city. Use them, remembering to ride on the right-hand side in North America.
  2. Ride in designated bike lanes, but cycle in the flow of traffic. Never ride against traffic, or on sidewalks. Teach children that when they are on a bike, they follow the same rules of the road as cars.
  3. If possible, place parents on either side of child riders. Much of the time, cyclists will need to ride single file. Place kids in the middle, with one parent or other adult in the lead and another at the end.
  4. Educate yourself about any bike-free zones. It seems counterintuitive, but some city parks, such as parts of New York City’s Central Park, are closed to bikes. Know which areas are off-limits to cyclists ahead of time.
  5. Keep bikes safe while you’re away. Always carry a combination lock for bikes (usually available to rent) and lock them up when stopping to tour, sightsee, or eat a meal.

Hand Signals for Cyclists

Best Cities for Cycling

Some cities are simply better for bike touring than others. Our favorites in North America include:

Washington, DC: It’s largely flat, making for easy cycling, and has many monuments and sights that are spread out, making for a lot of walking. In three hours on bikes, though, families can tour the top monuments in and around the National Mall, a tour that would take all day on foot.

New York City: NYC’s Battery Park has a wonderful bike trail that takes riders from the piers all the way to views of the Statue of Liberty. Only a few sections must be navigated in traffic. Alternatively, kids love biking across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Vancouver, BC: Vancouver’s Stanley Park is so popular for biking, multiple cycle shops line its boundaries, and are always busy. Families can ride all the way around the park in an afternoon, following the path that hugs beautiful Coal Harbor. Let kids stop to play at playgrounds and beaches.

Nantucket, MA: It may not be a big city, but it is a large island to cover via the few hiking trails, and it is also simply too pretty to tour by car. Nantucket’s bike path system takes families to cute towns (get ice cream or lunch!) and even to the beach.

Enjoy exploring new cities on wheels! Your family will cover more ground, have more fun, and get more exercise, while getting up close and personal with city sights.

Ideal Cities For Cycling

June 08, 2015

As parliamentarians and the Tokyo metropolitan government argue over who is going to pay for a new National Stadium for the 2020 Summer Olympics which could could cost up to ¥300 billion (They need not fight as at the end of the day I'm paying for the new stadium as a taxpayer) it comes as no surprise that the necessity for many new sporting venues when existing facilities exist is being questioned. Tokyo billed itself as the compact Olympics, one in which all Olympic venues were to a mere eight kilometres from the athletes’ village but in the face of tight budgets that plan has quickly unravelled.

Proposed new Olympic Velodrome and BMX track now in doubt.

 Just today the Japanese and International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials released a statement indicating that they are close to a final venue plan for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but an agreement for cycling which is acceptable to all parties is still has still not been reached.

International Cycling Union (UCI) President Brian Cookson is not happy with the proposed solution of relocating track cycling, mountain biking and BMX venues to Izu roughly 150km from Tokyo saying that it will detract from the Olympic experience of fans and competitors alike. Understanding the economic constraints Cookson conceded that he would fight for the BMX and mountain bike events to return to the city and is grudgingly prepared to accept track cycling in Izu on the condition that the existing venue undergoes extensive renovation ant its seating capacity is increased substantially from the existing level of just 1,500 seats.

Dream Island Mountain Biking course may also be relocated elsewhere.
Cycling is not the only sport to be moved from the promised 8km Olympic Zone. A proposed sailing marina near Tokyo Gate Bridge has been scrapped in favour of an existing facility near Wakasu and Badminton my be moved to Musashino in Western Tokyo. Other spots likely to move are fencng, taekwondo, wrestling and water polo.

Equestrian events will be moved from Dream Island to Baji Park, a venue from the 1964 Tokyo Olympics over 50 minutes from central Tokyo.  Dream Island is actually two largely underdeveloped islands in Tokyo bay which was to host mountain biking, equestrian and rowing events (in the channel between the two man made islands) but with two of those events tagged for relocation what will be done with that underutilised space?

Under the original plan the vast majority of Olympic events would
have been held within 8km of the Olympic village.

Over $1 billion of savings generated by the new venue plan will come from the scrapping the Youth Palza project which was planned to house both badminton and basketball, which will now be relocated to Saitama Super Arena, because hey in a country where 38% of the population will be 65 or older by 2055 who needs a Youth Plaza anyway?

So to summarise, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic bid promising a compact and sustainable Olympics was based on lies, deception and Hollywood accounting and moving venues from the proposed 8km radius of the Olympic Village has quite literally gutted the event.

Personally I would have liked to see Tokyo's bid emphasise the re-use of renovated facilities from the 1964 Olympics. Sure they wouldn't have the seating capacity or sexy appeal of a modern ¥300 billion stadium, but nothing says sustainability like recycling an entire city full of Olympic venues. A retro Olympics, I believe would be great for sport and set a standard for future Olympic cities based on something other than erecting expensive underutilised sporting facilities.

June 07, 2015

Last week Mikael Colville-Andersen revealed the results of the 2015 Copenhagenize Index of Bicycle Friendly Cities survey. It came as no surprise that the contenders for first place were friendly rivals Amsterdam and Copenhagen, with Copenhagen narrowly taking top spot and is was also not surprising that Tokyo which ranked 4th in 2011 and 12th in 2013 had disappeared from the index all together.

But wait, isn't Tokyo the city where almost everyone cycles? Where the neighbourhoods are compact and well serviced making the bicycle the perfect mode of transport? Doesn't cycling hold a 16% share within the 23 Wards of Tokyo and 14% for the greater Tokyo area? Doesn't the bicycle complement Tokyo's highly efficient and convenient public transport network? Doesn't Tokyo have female cyclists in abundance, a feat many other cities just can't replicate? Yes these points are all true, yet Tokyo fell from the index. Why?

I could tell you why, but instead I'll ask you: What has changed for cycling in Tokyo since the last Bike Index was compiled in 2013?

In two years absolutely NOTHING has changed, nothing at all. Two years with no advancement shows that Tokyo has no political will to become a world class cycle friendly city and that is shameful.

Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe has done nothing but pay lip service to cycling over that period, and none of his talk has been followed by action. In 2014 Masuzoe visited Mayor Boris Johnson in London after which he praised the Mayors efforts to promote cycling and provide safe infrastructure in the lead up to the 2012 Olympic Games even while cyclists on London's roads were being killed by lorries at a criminal rate. Upon arrival back in Japan Masuzoe promised cycling infrastructure for the Olympics using London as a model at which point it became clearly obvious that the Governor had no commitment to cycling, Only commitment to the Olympic games.

Someone should buy the governor a ticket to Amsterdam or Copenhagen before he runs off to New York for inspiration. Oh wait, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government did that in 2014, inviting representatives from Bike New York to speak at a members only cycling summit and take part in an organised ride consisting of nothing but Lycra clad recreational cyclists. It seems if your city has implemented a successful bicycle sharing system and throws around words like "cycle superhighway" Tokyo wants to follow your example. The Metropolitan Government doesn't realise it has to do nothing to promote cycling as the Tokyo's citizens already cycle at much higher rates than cities like New York and London and that the solutions for Tokyo's cycling problems will come not from there, but from Northern European cities with high cycling populations.

Just last month the Governor revealed plans for 400km of safe cycling routes around the city, where "around the city" is defined as "around future Olympic venues" and safe cycling routes are defined as sharrows, painted bicycle lanes and sidewalks shared with pedestrians. This once again demonstrated absolutely no political will to improve the city for cyclists and cycling, rather its just another weak attempt to try and convince the world that Tokyo is putting in the effort to become cycle friendly. It most certainly is not.

Finally just this month harsh new penalties came into play for cyclists who disobey the rules of the road with police revealing a list of 14 confusing cycling misdemeanours if broken twice within three years could see a cyclist forced to attend a 3 hour cycle training course at their own expense or face a ¥50,000 fine.

So in the past two years Tokyo's Governor has made noises about improving infrastructure, has gone to all the wrong sources seeking advice, has promised "safe cycling routes", not safe cycling infrastructure in locations where they are not needed, and has overseen the implementation of harsh new penalties for cyclists. Is it any wonder Tokyo is no longer among the top 20 bicycle friendly cities?

Advanced cities around the globe know already that cycling brings a huge number of benefits, health, societal, environmental and economic. Denmark has actively developed cycling infrastructure because in their own words:

Cycling Saves Money. Cycling saves the municipalities of the Capital Region of Denmark roughly DKK 1.5 billion a year. Whats more cycling generates an additional DKK 1.5 billion in tax revenues for the state and municipalities.

The Capital Region of Denmark Regional Cycling Report, being a mere 22 pages long, states the case for better cycling infrastructure and outlines the advantages in language anyone can understand yet nobody in Tokyo is reading?  The report contains such gems as "Each time someone cycles 12,000 kilometres he or she reduces the average number of sick days by 1" and that the Capital Region experiences 1 million fewer sick days due to the effect of cycling. Cycling reduces traffic congestion which in turn saves time and as time is money DKK 0.8 billion is saved due to a decrease in congestion alone.

Just last week Prime Miniser promised to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 26% yet did not reveal how he aimed to achieve that figure. Yet another verbal promise and lacking substance from a Japanese politician while The Danes, already active in the area, report that each time they increase cycling by 1 percentage point they see a 16,000 tonne reduction in greenhouse gasses, yet despite this there is no political will to promote cycling as transport in Japan.

It is plainly obvious that investments in cycling infrastructure, cheap in comparison to infrastructure for other vehicles, pay for themselves multiple times over with solid economic benefits, the only kind of benefits politicians care about. The research has been done, the facts can't be disputed, yet still we have no commitment from our leaders.

Seriously when among Japan's biggest exporters are Toyota, Nissan and Mazda can we really expect our government to promote cycling??

I've strayed a long way from the point, but in short cycling brings so many advantages to a city and it is the governors job to improve the city. Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe speaks often about cycling in the city but in the past two years has not backed up a single word with a positive action. Two years of inactivity from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is exactly why Tokyo no longer features among the top 20 bicycle friendly cities.

In the face of hard work and commitment of other cities that have a vision and are committed to positive change and improving the lives and welfare of their citizens Tokyo never stood a chance.

June 04, 2015

The first annual Cycle Hack Tokyo will be held in Minato-ku, Tokyo, from June 19th to the 21st.

Cycle Hack originated in Glasgow in 2104 and has quickly become an international event taking place in 35 cities around the world over the same weekend.  The event brings together a diverse range of people with different experiences and expertise to discuss the barriers that keep people from cycling to develop creative solutions that promote cycling as a sustainable mode of transport which benefits individuals and their communities.

Everyone has ideas of how to improve cycling in our towns and cities and Cycle Hack gives us a platform to develop an present those ideas by working with a likeminded team. Your idea may be a product, an event, a strategic piece of tactical urbanism, or maybe you have noticed a barrier to cycling you have no idea how to remove but would like to discuss it with others and come up with a solution. That is what Cycle Hack is all about.

Cycle Hack Tokyo will take place from June 19th to the 21st on the 15th floor of the International Shin-Akasaka Building East, 2-14-27 Akasaka, Minato-Ku, Tokyo. Participation is a mere Y1,000 which covers administrative costs and the use of the meeting space. Tickets must be purchased in advance here.

If you want to get involved, want to make a change in your city that improves conditions for cyclists, this is the first step towards having your voice heard. Please do join us.

This event is supported by the Bike Startup & Co.

May 31, 2015

「スケアード・ストレート」は1970年代アメリカで青少年犯罪を抑止する手段として生まれた考え方で、非行に走る恐れの有る青少年に刑務所を訪問させ、所内見学ツアーに参加させたり、苛酷な刑務所生活を受刑者の姿から直接学ばせたり、カウンセリングを受けさせたりするプログラムだ。多くの場合、青少年たちは受刑者と直接向き合う状況に置かれる。これは、彼らを文字通り脅して犯罪の人生から遠ざけるのが狙いだ。だが数十年間の研究の結果、そうしたプログラムは効果が無いばかりか、青少年に害を与えかねず、実際に参加者の再犯率が上昇した事が明らかになっている。 1997年に米連邦議会に提出された一本のレポートでは500以上の犯罪予防手法が評価されているが、その中でスケアード・ストレート方式の各種プログラムは「有効ではない」に分類されていた。こうした証拠にも関わらず、類似のプログラムは今日でも世界中で実施されている。






 1. 自転車は車道[が原則、歩道は例外]
 2. 車道では左側を通行
 3. 歩道では歩行者優先[で、自転車は車道寄りを徐行](これは1番目のルールと矛盾する)
 4. 安全ルールを守る(つまりこのリストにはルールが5つ以上有るという事だ)
 5. [子供は]ヘルメットを着用




司会者はこの冒頭で笑い声が起こった事を機と捉え、子供たちを厳しく叱った。「自転車の安全はとても大切な事です。もし君たち自身や家族が似たような状況に置かれたらと考えてみましょう。これでもう笑い事じゃないと分かりましたね?」 だが、参加している子供たちの大半にとっては、これはサーカスの同類で、100%完全にエンターテインメントなのだ。





追い打ちを掛けるように司会者は生徒たち(誰一人免許が取れる年齢には達していないが)に死角の説明を始めた。自転車が交差点に進入した地点はドライバーから物理的に見えなかった、だから事故は避けられなかったのだと。避けられない? 何を言ってるんだ? これには堪忍袋の緒が切れそうになった。

ドライバーが交差点に進入する前に特に用心していれば事故は防げたのでは、といった話が一度も出て来ないまま、ドライバーは一切の責任から解放されてしまった。何故なら「自転車が何もかも悪い」からだ。警察が許容している歩道上の通行や、青信号での交差点の横断でさえ「間違い」なのである。厳格責任(strict liability)、つまり、大きく重い乗り物の操縦者が、軽く脆弱な道路利用者の安全について責任を負うという概念は一切触れられなかった。ドライバーは死角を生む車体構造の被害者であり、自転車利用者が不注意だった所為で撥ねてしまった、という訳だ。





スケアード・ストレート方式の交通安全教育に関する学術研究は2015年5月31日現在、国内の論文データベースを横断検索できるCiNii Articlesで調べる限り、僅か1件だ。この研究(は実験に参加した生徒の安全運転の知識や意志をアンケートで評価したもので、紙の上では一定の効果を実証しているものの、実際の運転行動に改善が有ったかどうかや事故率が低下したかどうかについては明らかにしていない。






Byron Kidd氏はこの記事で、安全の為という善意に隠れて見えにくい、意識の書き換えという陰の側面を指摘する事で、「生徒たちにウケが良い」といった安直な理由でスタント実演に頼る日本社会に疑問を投げ掛けているのである。

This article has been kindly translated from the original English version by ろぜつ

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