Lawbreaking cyclists to be forced to attend bicycle safety courses?

Byron Kidd
Japanese officialdom has once again got a bee in its bonnet about bicycle safety despite a decrease in the number of fatal bicycle accidents.

Since stricter policing of bicycle laws began in January this year over 4,000 people have been issued warnings for such offences as ignoring traffic signals, riding without brakes, cycling while holding umbrellas, mobile phones or cycling with headphones. (That's right issues warnings, not fined, not arrested, just had their bicycle ride interrupted by an irate police officer who gives them a slap on the wrist and sends them on their way.)

Cycling with headphones in Tokyo would earn you a Y50,000 fine, if police did their job.
Now someone at the "Department of Wasting Public Money on Stupid Ideas" has come up with the proposal that unruly cyclists should be forced to attend cycling safety programs in order to improve their manners.

Recently we've seen the monthly police crackdown on cyclists in Tokyo, the proposal of a compulsory bicycle number plate system, and now forced bicycle retraining programs for cyclists deemed to have bad cycling manners (however bad manners are defined). What have cyclists done to raise the ire of the police and local government that causes the to think up such idiotic and expensive schemes?

If police really want cyclists to improve their manners they have to start enforcing the law, not once a month with huge numbers of police on the street setting up roadblocks to check cyclists, but every single day as a part of their daily duty.  Hit cyclists with fines if they're breaking the law and you'll soon see an improvement in cyclist behaviour.

Until the police do their job cyclists will not change their ways and officials will continue to dream up expensive schemes to try and make cyclists ride safer.

The solution is simple, and doesn't need a new scheme, just enforce the law.


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  1. Would giving cyclists better infrastructure lead to better behaviour?

  2. I think the authorities should also have some rigging inspection in every road to maintain the safety of the pedestrians, cyclists and everyone else using the road to make sure of their safety and the order in the traffic rules.

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  4. If that is one would use a razor ground force drifter in Tokyo, that would need safety courses. It's quite an enjoyable ride such that one forgets about their own safety.

  5. The bicycle is not an enclosed vehicle. It is composed of light metals and light wheels. It cannot subdue any impact from a big object, even that of a light post. As such it is vital that bicycle riders make sure they will enjoy their bicycle for a long time by keeping themselves safe with the necessary biking gear.

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