Bicycle Rule Crack-Down!

Some people think Tokyo is all high-tech and futuristic, but one very blatant way that this isn’t so at all is the amount of people who ride mama-chari, or those housewife-y bicycles with baskets on them, around town. People use it to get to the train station in the morning, to pick up their kids from school (kids ride in a little booster seat in the front or back), and to go grocery shopping.

This year, after 30 years of lawlessness, the police department is cracking down on cyclists by banning cell phone use, headphone use, and "triple-riding"—carrying two kids, one in front, one in back, on your bicycle—nationwide. They’re also trying to pass a law banning riding on sidewalks, although this is going to be markedly harder to enforce among car-fearing cyclists.


3 thoughts on “Bicycle Rule Crack-Down!

  1. About time. More than once has the blossoming of pain from my shin been accompanied by a cheery “Gomen” from some mad old baachan who probably shouldn’t be let out without supervision, let alone on a bicycle.
    But what I find more annoying (or frightening) than that are the people who ride bikes on the road AGAINST THE FLOW. It’s absolutely terrifying, especially if you’re on a motorbike yourself and are on the left anyway, and it becomes very difficult to judge both how far away they are and how fast they’re moving.

  2. Riding a bike on a “sidewalk” is difficult enough with “pedestrians” and other cyclists. I’m all for banning cellphones, but I don’t live here. I’m just visiting.
    As for women with two small children on the bike, that just scares me every time I see it. (See note above for busy sidewalk)
    I thought this wasn’t going into effect until 2009?

  3. When will wearing helmets become compulsory 😛 Or even slightly recomended beyond children? 😛
    I dunno about many other places in Japan but I know throughout some places in Nagoya they have a kinda seperated walkway, half for bike use half for pedestrians – which I think is the safest of all … I wouldnt feel comfortable riding a bike on the road without a helmet, and I cant say aside from the bright yellow/white ones the kids wear to school that I havent really seen helmets all that much.
    I assume headphone use means Ipods etc?