The proposal would leave bikers who ignore police warnings about reckless riding with a ticket and fine instead of a criminal charge.

Bikes of all shapes and sizes are ubiquitous in Japan. You’d be hard-pressed to walk down any sidewalk without passing one at some point–and many times, you won’t even hear it coming until it startles and zooms right past you.

Japan’s National Police Agency of Japan recently convened to debate new policies to curb unsafe bike riding, compiling an interim report released on December 21 which proposes the introduction of a minor traffic violation fine for bikers ages 16 and up who do not comply with police instructions and warnings about safe riding. The final report will be compiled next month, with proposed revisions to Japan’s Road Traffic Act to be submitted to the Diet in a session next year and go into effect sometime in 2026.

▼ Rows and rows of bikes–a common sight outside of train stations in Japan

Under the current system, bike-riding offenders receive an akakippu (literally “red ticket”) for a serious traffic violation, which also comes with criminal charges. However, the processing takes up significant time despite few individuals actually being prosecuted, and authorities have determined that this system is no longer effective.

Under the proposed revisions, offenders would receive an aokippu (literally “blue ticket”) for minor traffic violations such as ignoring red lights, not slowing down while riding in a pedestrian zone, riding on the right side of the road (which is against traffic in Japan), or using a cell phone while riding. By receiving this ticket instead of an akakippu, riders could avoid criminal charges by paying a fine instead. It’s important to note, however, that those who commit more serious offenses, such as riding while under the influence of alcohol, would still receive an akakippu for more reckless behavior.

While some Japanese net users are still calling for bike licenses to become standard procedure (partially to give riders an opportunity to properly learn the rules of the road in the first place), others see the new system as a reasonable step forward to provide faster consequences for unsafe riding. Perhaps the most effective solution for bikers and drivers alike would be to show ninja-themed traffic safety videos around the whole country.

Source: My Game News Flash via Livedoor News
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso
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