What types of bicycle laws are there in Japan?

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Laws relating to bicycles in Japan are not always enforced, but the failure to follow the following rules could result in a 20,000 yen fine.  Bikes must use a designated bike lane if available; otherwise they should stay on the half of the sidewalk closer to the curb.  When biking on the sidewalk you must stop the bike if continuing would block the passage of pedestrians and you must keep at a slow enough speed so it is possible to stop the bike immediately.

Some bicycle laws in Japan carry stiffer penalties, including imprisonment.  Failing to abide by the following traffic rules could result in a 50,000 yen fine or up to 3 months in jail.  Bikes must obey all stoplights.  If there are two stoplights (one for cars and one for pedestrians), then bicycles must obey the human-shaped pedestrian signal.  At intersections with a stop sign, bicycles must stop and look both directions before proceeding. When crossing the street with your bicycle it is mandatory to use the provided bike crossing late if available.  Also, bikes should be walked across crosswalks unless there is no fear of accidentally hitting pedestrians (such as when there are no pedestrians crossing the street).

If you have any questions about traffic laws in Japan, please contact our office for a legal consultation.