This morning the police upped the ante on red light running cyclists. Beware, they're getting tough, you may never want to risk running a red light again after reading what follows.
While waiting at a red light an intersection with a koban on the corner a fellow cycling in his office kit passed me on the inside and proceeded to cross the intersection against the light. In response to this one of the police officers in the koban leaned out the door, put a whistle to his lips and blew it sharply three times "Pi! Pi! Pi!". It was a tense and confrontational moment in Japanese law enforcement.
The cyclist continued on his merry way oblivious that the whistle had even been blown. If he did happen to hear it over the background noise he would have no idea it was directed at him as he was already a good 15 meters past the koban.
Cyclists be warned, this is an intersection at which I have regularly gone against the red light without consequence, but no more! Ignore this red light at your peril because there is a hard ass cop at the koban looking to correct your misbehaving ways, he's armed with a whistle and he's not afraid to use it.
July 27, 2009
Japanese police get tough on law breaking cyclist.
Father of two, husband of one, lover of family, bicycles and running.
Urban Cycling Consultant, Tokyo By Bike.
Byron Kidd is the founder of the Tokyo By Bike website, writer, experienced urban cyclist, and expert on cycling in the staggering metropolis of Tokyo.
Working with NPO's and cycling activists to improve cycling infrastructure in Japan, Byron also operates internationally via a vast network of renowned urban mobility experts to promote Japanese cycling culture, and demonstrate how everyday cycling can work in megacities around the world. No city is too big for the bicycle.
Day Job, Software Developer.
Writing code and stuff, for games and things.