May Learn and obey rules & manners for bicycles!
This is an abridged version of “Koho Yokohama Naka-ku Ban,” Naka Ward Office’s public relations magazine. （Click here for the multilingual website of “Koho Yokohama City Edition”） Please note that all information is correct as of the time of publication and may be subject to change.
Last updated date：2022/5/9
Learn and obey rules & manners for bicycles!
Inquiries: Chiiki Katsudō Tantō (Community Activities Subdivision),
Naka Ward Office Tel: 045-224-8132 Fax: 045-224-8215
Bicycles are an environmentally friendly and healthy means of getting around, but failure to obey rules and manners can lead to serious accidents and expensive claims for damages. For safe and comfortable bicycle use, let’s review bicycle rules and manners that you may not know.
Cycle on the left side of the road
Cycle on the left side of the road, in the same direction in which cars and motorcycles are proceeding.
The same rules apply to bicycles as other vehicles.
Riding on the wrong side of the road may result in a collision with another cyclist who is cycling on the correct side!
Always stop at stop signs
There have been cases in which pedestrians have been left bedridden because they have been hit by a bicycle that has run a stop sign.
Be sure to stop whenever you see a stop sign
Never run a stop sign!
Sidewalks are for pedestrians
Bicycles are allowed on sidewalks only in special cases.
When cycling on sidewalks, pass slowly on the side nearest to the road at a speed that allows you to stop immediately.
Senior citizens over the age of 70 and children under the age of 13 are allowed to cycle on the sidewalk.
Turn on your bike lights when it gets dark
It is very dangerous to cycle at night with no lights on. Lights also serve to alert cars to your presence.
Turn on your bike lights at night to make your presence known to others around you!
Don’t cycle while distracted
Cycling while distracted is dangerous because it can lead to carelessness and inattentive cycling.
- Cycling while using a cell phone or smart phone
You are so distracted by the conversation that you don’t see the red light!
- Cycling while holding an umbrella
Umbrellas make it impossible to see what’s in front of you, and cycling with one hand makes you unstable!
- Cycling while listening to music at a loud volume
You do not notice an approaching car, which can lead to an accident.
Never cycle under the influence of alcohol
As with drunk driving, it is against the law to cycle under the influence of alcohol. You will not be able to control your bicycle properly, which can lead to a serious accident involving others.
Make sure that you do not ride a bicycle if you have been drinking alcohol.
There have been cases of high compensation claims for injuries sustained in traffic accidents involving bicycles!
For example, an elementary school student riding a bicycle collided with a pedestrian, leaving the pedestrian bedridden with permanent injuries. As a result, the parents of the elementary school student were ordered to pay ¥95,210,000 in damages.
Bicycle insurance is mandatory in Yokohama City under a Kanagawa Prefecture ordinance!
⇒ Bicycle insurance (Japanese only)
A bicycle is no different to a car! Follow the rules and ride safely
Captain Hideki Iida
Traffic Section Chief,
Isezaki Police Station
In 2021, there were 102 traffic accidents involving bicycles in Naka Ward, an increase from the previous year. Traffic accidents occur most frequently between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., a time of day when many people are returning home from work or out shopping, so be especially careful.
Bicycles are classified as “light vehicles” under the Road Traffic Act. As such, traffic violations committed on a bicycle may result in penalties.
Although you can ride a bicycle freely without a license, remember that bicycles can also be a deadly weapon with the potential to injure others if an accident occurs. Please have fun riding your bicycle safely by observing the following five rules for safe bicycle use: (1) In principle, ride bicycles on the road, and only on sidewalks in exceptional cases; (2) Ride on the left side of the road; (3) When cycling on sidewalks, give priority to pedestrians and ride slowly on the side nearest to the road; (4) Obey safety rules; and (5) Children should wear helmets at all times.