Tokyo police crack down on cycling violations

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Police officers talk to a cyclist in Tokyo on Monday.

The Metropolitan Police Department on Monday began cracking down more heavily on cyclists who violate traffic regulations.

As part of efforts to prevent serious accidents, the MPD is now issuing errant cyclists with tickets that can lead to criminal cases.

Previously, the police merely issued warnings for four types of bicycle-related violations; riding on sidewalks without slowing down, riding on the wrong side of the road, ignoring traffic signals, and failing to halt at stop signs. Under the MPD’s new policy, cyclists who breach these rules are issued with a “red ticket” — a type of traffic ticket.

Even in cases of accidents where no one is injured, cyclists will still be slapped with a ticket.

At 10 a.m. on Monday, local police officers patrolled an intersection in Minami-Ikebukuro, Tokyo, while monitoring cyclists’ adherence to regulations. The officers also distributed fliers urging bicycle users to ride safely.

There have been many cases in which pedestrians have been injured — some seriously — due to cyclists riding without due care. Police nationwide are cracking down increasingly harder on bike riders who commit traffic violations, following a large number of complaints, traffic violations and accidents involving self-propelled two-wheelers.