No need to know the law, but you must obey it

7/01/2010 Byron Kidd 0 Comments

One of the most popular articles on this site is entitled "Of Japanese Cycling Laws and other Mythical Beasts" in which I express my opinion that Japanese cycling laws are poorly understood, inconsistently enforced and largely ignored.  At the end of that article I concluded that if you exercise some common sense, and ride safely you can conveniently ignore most of the rules of the road.  Because unless you are disturbing the peace, or present a direct danger to yourself or others the police turn a blind eye to most cycling.

This week Japan Times' reporter Colin Jones wrote an interesting piece on how the Japanese enforce vague laws entitled "No need to know the law, but you must obey it".  While not specifically about cycling law, although it does provide some examples, I was surprised to find that it  confirmed a number of points I had made in my article about the inconsistency in the policing of laws in Japan and goes on to explain why this is the case.  Most certainly worth a read.