Revised Law Allows Japan Police To Crack Down On Rule-Breaking Cyclists

Revised Law Allows Japan Police To Crack Down On Rule-Breaking Cyclists

TOKYO, May 18 (NNN-NHK) – Japan’s parliament yesterday, passed a bill that will permit police to fine cyclists for minor traffic violations, as authorities respond to an increase in bike accidents.

The revised Road Traffic Act covers 113 relatively minor violations, including disregarding traffic lights and stop signs and riding on the wrong side of the road. Cyclists who are 16 or older will be subject to blue ticket fines, ranging between around 5,000 yen (about 32 dollars) and 12,000 yen.

A police officer at the scene will issue the ticket to a rule-breaking cyclist, and if the fine is paid, no criminal charges will be filed.

Before the revision, cyclists were only able to be issued red tickets for some 20 serious offenses, including riding while heavily intoxicated.

The amended law also expanded the range of red ticket offenses, to include cycling above the established road alcohol driving limit, or posing a danger to traffic by using a mobile phone while riding.

If convicted, those found cycling under the influence and issued a red ticket could be subject to imprisonment of up to three years, or a fine of 500,000 yen, and those cycling while using a phone could be given a prison term of up to one year or a 300,000 yen fine.

The new law, which was previously approved by the Lower House, will take effect within two years.– NNN-NHK  


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