Pedal Policy - Confused by Japan's Cycling Laws? You're not the only one.

Byron Kidd

 After being stung by a policeman for performing a right hand turn at a busy Tokyo intersection on his bicycle, as he has done unmolested many times in the past, Metropolis editor, James Hadfield, began to question Japanese cycling law, and the local constabulary's understanding and enforcement of those laws.

What he discovered is that beat cops don't have a detailed understanding of the traffic laws, the laws tend to be ambiguous and open to interpretation, and that these inconsistencies tend to work in favor of the cyclist unless they encounter an over zealous traffic cop or one who got out of the wrong side of bed.

Read the full article at Metropolis.

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  1. so why is the officious cop correct? help me understand this crazy law?

  2. Peter, good to see you're as confused as everyone else over this issue.

    In the case of the author of the article and the intersection concerned, the traffic law states that light vehicles (which includes bicycles and scooters) must make a two point turn. That is they should cross through the intersection on the left with a green signal, wait, then cross in the other direction then the signal turns green.

    To me this sounds more dangerous than just having all vehicles on the road follow the same rule.

  3. It seems every 2nd person on a bike here is using their ketai while they meander along the wrong side of the road or sidewalk..

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