Violations involving reckless cyclists on the rise
News On Japan via Japan Today -- Oct 06
Japan is considering changing road traffic violation punishments for cyclists after it was revealed that almost 4,000 violations took place across the country last year.
According to a nationwide survey by the National Police Agency, 3,956 violations by cyclists were logged in 2011, TBS reported Friday.
About 32.2% of the violations involved riders with brakeless "piste bikes," also known as "fixed brake bikes" or "fixies" on public roads. In Japan, the law requires that bicycles have both front and rear brakes. Failure to install both before riding on a public road is punishable by a fine of up to 50,000 yen.
Fixies entered the public consciousness in Japan when comedian Mitsunori Fukuda, 36, a member of the comedy team Tutorial, received a ticket for riding a piste bike without brakes on Oct 28, 2011.
About 28.1% of the violations involved running red lights and 12.6% were riders ignoring barriers at railroad crossings. Police say indictments were filed in only 17 cases, TBS reported.
According to the NPA, the 144,018 bicycle accidents last year constituted about 20% of the total number of traffic accidents.
The number of people who committed suicide in Japan in 2012 was 27,858, dropping below 30,000 for the first time in 15 years, the Cabinet Office said in a white paper on Tuesday. The figure was 2,800 fewer than in 2011. (Japan Today )
A collection of materials related to a 17th century mission sent by a Japanese feudal lord to Europe and the world's oldest autographic diary left 10 centuries ago by a Japanese regent have been selected for the UNESCO Memory of the World registry, the Japanese education ministry said Wednesday. (Global Post )
Almost 1,500 people were transported to hospitals by ambulance due to heatstroke last week, up sharply from 942 in the preceding week, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Tuesday. (Japan Times )
Among about 200,000 traffic signals nationwide, 16 percent are being used beyond the end of the expected lifetime of their electrical systems and some have even toppled over due to age, according to the National Police Agency. (Yomiuri )
In May, Akira Ikoma, the editor of a guide to men's entertainment called Ore no Tabi (My Journey), said that "Abenomics" had caused a spike in prices at high-end soapland bathhouses in Tokyo. However, the same editor tells Shukan Post (June 28) that the initiative is not impacting the low-end market in the same way. (Tokyo Reporter )