Japanese police get tough on law breaking cyclist.

Byron Kidd
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.

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  1. So, all that happened was that the police offer blew a whistle at him? He didn't chase him down or make him stop? This is actually nothing new. Japanese people frequently ignore the police when they attempt to stop them for bike checks.

    Last week, after reading an article by two foreigners who were interrogated for running a red light on their bikes (asked their salaries :-p), I witnessed three people run the red light I was waiting at when I walked to the market.

    I think the police ought to do something about the cars that run the lights and zoom over the crosswalks after the light has turned green for us to cross rather than focus on the cyclists, but I've never been one to run a red light either way so I don't much care.

  2. Wow, he blew his whistle three times? That is bad.

  3. Thats right, three times. He should be commended for going above and beyond his duty in upholding the traffic law.

    (I do hope everyone is reading the above post with their tounge firmly planted in their cheek)

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