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Safe Bicycling Manners

Bicycling is a great way to get around and enjoy the early summer weather in Gunma. Bicycling is not only an essential means of transportation for those who do not drive automobiles but also is eco-friendly because it’s virtually greenhouse gas-free. So, there are many good sides to it. However, bikes can be dangerous to pedestrians, if not used properly.

The five main rules for bicycle safety:

Traffic accidents involving bicycles are on the rise in Gunma and elsewhere in Japan now. In 1978, a change to the Japanese Road Traffic Law allowed bicycles on sidewalks. Before that, bikes had to use the roads as vehicle users. There have been collision accidents between bikes and pedestrians resulting in death. Use of a bicycle in such manners as described below is a violation of the law, and the cyclist will be punished accordingly. Here is the list of typical violations and their penalties:

Bicycling is an excellent means of transportation in all senses provided that riders bicycle safely. “YIELD TO PEDESTRIANS ON SIDEWALKS” is the rule in Japan. Have the courtesy to stop if you think you might get in the way of pedestrians. Have a nice ride!

Bike Paths in Gunma:
http://www.gtia.jp/kokusai/japanese/traveling/recommendation_201008.php

(Effective May 2011)

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