Rules for Riding Bicycles in Japan

Rules for Riding Bicycles in Japan (Lawyer / Attorney in Japan)It is little known that Japanese “Road Traffic Act” has changed on 1st December 2013.

There are some topics, such as penalties for driving cars without license are strengthened.

Maybe the most important change for good citizens like you and your family is the new rule for riding bicycles.

From now on, you should note that when you ride your bicycle, you have to be on the LEFT side of the road. If you ride the bicycle on the RIGHT side of the road, you may be stopped by the police officer, and you may be penalized.

The penalty for riding the bicycle on the wrong side of the road is,

“Imprisonment up to 3 months”
or
“Criminal Fine up to 50,000yen”

As you see, the penalties are not very light.

Many people riding bicycles think that they are very free and there are no enforceable rules for bicycles, but don’t forget that the Road Traffic Act is also applicable to bicycles.

Also, when you get involved in an accident while riding bicycle on the RIGHT (wrong) side of the road, your fault percentage may be evaluated higher. So it is also important to follow the rule from the perspective of civil law problems.

Published by

Kei Sumikawa

Kei Sumikawa

Attorney at law (lawyer) in Kawasaki city (next to Tokyo and Yokohama). Member of Kanagawa Bar Association (former Yokohama Bar Association).