Tokyo Cops in New Crackdown

May 22, 2007
3,619
1,455
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#2
I wonder whether anyone can offer a sensible explanation, or failing that a humorous explanation, why rear lights are not required on bicycles in Japan.

A reflector (red or orange) is required. A light is not.

</tolerance>

<rant>

The thousands of Billy No-Lights (Guillaumes Sans Lumières) at night in the streets and sidewalks of the metropolis do my head in.

Virtually every mamachari is sold with a dynamo light. People don't switch them on either 'because it slows the bike down' or 'because it makes me stick out'. (I have personally heard both these excuses.)

- The dynamo is noisy and creates drag...

So get some battery lights.

- But then I have to keep buying batteries...

So walk. Or stay at home.

- There are streetlights. I can see just fine...

Yes but nobody else can see you. You really haven't thought about this at all, have you?

Then there are those who buy lights, but put a red one on the front and/or a white one on the back. I can't decide whether they are more stupid, or less stupid, than those who don't use lights at all. Again, I've seen both.

Last night as I was travelling home I saw a red flashing light a little way ahead. Started planning to overtake. BAM! He's right on top of me - travelling the wrong way in the road, at night, dressed like a ninja with a red light on the front of his bike.

WHY WOULD YOU THINK THAT'S A GOOD IDEA!!!???

While I'm glad that the kamikaze spirit is alive and well, I just wish they'd stay away from me.

</rant>
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#5
Tim, I think the longest of these is close to you: 2.5km between Kannana and Yamate Dori on route 431 (which runs parallel to the north of Koshukaido).

Mike once posted a map of Tokyo which indicates the location of all bicycle lanes.

Anyhow, I agree there is far too little being invested for cyclists. The cost of one useless tunnel up towards Yanagisawa could pay for a real cycling road along the entire Tamagawa, and endless cycling lanes inside central Tokyo. But perhaps this explains why it's not done - it's far too cheap to be of any use in wasting tax payers' money.
 

astroman

Speeding Up
Mar 19, 2007
264
0
36
Shirokanedai, Tokyo
#6
This might explain the two cops on motorbikes and one in a car that were "blitzing" Oi-futo last Sunday morning. A real pain in the ar$e.

And as for bike lanes: last year they re-did the section of Meguro dori that runs through Shirokanedai. Great I thought, they will add bike lines to the road. It is wide enough. Well they did sort of, they put a bike lane and a pedestrian lane on the footpath. Like that article says. Totally useless as no one actually rides on the bike side, they are always on the pedestrian side. Why didn't Minato-ku put the lanes on the road?
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#7
Ahh yes! I have ridden that one. Actually I almost cried when I did so as this seemed like a bit of heaven to me. Even though crowded with illegally parked vehicles, dodging shabu smoking idiot taxis and mindless bus drivers puking clouds of raw diesel particulate, it was pretty nice. But need to watch out for the bizarre rubberized surface paint - it's a killer when wet!

Tim, I think the longest of these is close to you: 2.5km between Kannana and Yamate Dori on route 431 (which runs parallel to the north of Koshukaido).

Mike once posted a map of Tokyo which indicates the location of all bicycle lanes.

Anyhow, I agree there is far too little being invested for cyclists. The cost of one useless tunnel up towards Yanagisawa could pay for a real cycling road along the entire Tamagawa, and endless cycling lanes inside central Tokyo. But perhaps this explains why it's not done - it's far too cheap to be of any use in wasting tax payers' money.
 
Aug 20, 2010
76
25
38
Minato-ku
#8
Pigs

Astroman - so you were the spped demon in Oi Futo last Sunday? Why did all these bloody pigs decide to commune on the one of cyclists' few havens in Tokyo on a Sunday, where there is little or no other vehicular traffic? This country is too full of killjoys. I got a small ear-bashing from one guy for not putting my foot on ground at a Stop sign, and when I spotted another copper, I managed to by-pass the red light at otherwise desserted crossing by cutting onto the footpath - completely legal in Japan. The look on the copper's face was priceless! :eek:

As for cycle-lanes in Tokyo, I find the few that do exist are pretty useless as pedestrians often infringe them, or that they're too narrow or cut-off suddenly. Personally, I stick to the roads and always give taxis a wide berth!
 

StuInTokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 3, 2010
1,662
62
78
#10
I got stopped on my way to the doctor today by a cop, for not having brakes on my Charge Mixer..... he realized what an idiot he was almost before I started to talk to him as he saw the disk brakes on the bike, he was looking for rim brakes. What a doorknob, then he got pissy when I was laughing at him and he asked me for my drivers license I said "Nihongo Tabe Nai" and road away :D I was just in time for my doctors appointment :bike:

Around the Hibiya/Ginza area they were stopping cyclists left and right, this was about 10AM or so.
 
Jun 9, 2011
241
1
36
tokyo
#11
StuInTokyo, I know that the Tokyo police are a-holeish and yet still total push overs and that playing the dumb foreigner card with them is cool and all, but I'd appreciate it if not just you but all resident foreigners at least made an effort to be civil with the cops. Whenever I've had to deal with them I find that I'm having to spend some time up front convincing them that I'm not going to be an a-hole before we can get on to the business at hand. This doesn't mean that you need to bend over or just accept whatever they're trying to bust you for, or worse, shaft you in the case of accident.

If they caught you being naughty and you want to play dumb you can still do it politely (ie. "My fixed cog is actually a coaster brake!" or "Yes, I know. I'm on my way to [bike shop name] to get it fixed right now"). if they are trying to wrongly bust you for something you can explain how they are wrong without mocking them (your disk brakes). I know the cops are a hassle but you might be surprised how much shorter your encounters with them can be if you forgo the dick waving and treat them politely. You'll also be making things easier for the next foreigner they try to harass, which could be me, so I thank you in advance.

I don't mean to preach, and if sticking it to the cops is how you roll then I'll just accept that.
 

StuInTokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 3, 2010
1,662
62
78
#13
StuInTokyo, I know that the Tokyo police are a-holeish and yet still total push overs and that playing the dumb foreigner card with them is cool and all, but I'd appreciate it if not just you but all resident foreigners at least made an effort to be civil with the cops. Whenever I've had to deal with them I find that I'm having to spend some time up front convincing them that I'm not going to be an a-hole before we can get on to the business at hand. This doesn't mean that you need to bend over or just accept whatever they're trying to bust you for, or worse, shaft you in the case of accident.

If they caught you being naughty and you want to play dumb you can still do it politely (ie. "My fixed cog is actually a coaster brake!" or "Yes, I know. I'm on my way to [bike shop name] to get it fixed right now"). if they are trying to wrongly bust you for something you can explain how they are wrong without mocking them (your disk brakes). I know the cops are a hassle but you might be surprised how much shorter your encounters with them can be if you forgo the dick waving and treat them politely. You'll also be making things easier for the next foreigner they try to harass, which could be me, so I thank you in advance.

I don't mean to preach, and if sticking it to the cops is how you roll then I'll just accept that.
Patrick, you don't know me, so I'll not get upset about how you think I acted. I was not rude, I laughed at the cop's obvious mistake, he realized it too, then HE got rude with me. I deal with these guys a lot, we run a liquor store, over they years I've caught and charged a number of shoplifters, and I actually caught a burglar in the act one night and had to wrestle him to the ground until the cops came and nabbed him. The cops were VERY happy to catch this guy, as he had broken into over a dozen homes recently. The detective guys like me and I have their phone numbers, and meshi. I've cooperated in several investigations with them when we caught a low level yak stealing from our shop, or got pressure from the yaks for protection money. The problems I have is on the road on my bicycle with the trailer, most of the regular beat cops do not know the law, I do, as I asked at the police station. When you have been hassled time and time again by these guys who simply do NOT understand that a bicycle towing a trailer is NOT a bicycle, but a light vehicle, and the rules are not the same, it gets tiresome. I was not rude, I was NOT waving my dick, I was not being less than civil, they WERE stupid AND rude.

I also follow the rules, I have two brakes the work on my bike, I don't wantonly run red lights etc. I'm far from perfect, but I'm not the a--hole you seem to think I am.

I just thought it was really funny that while they were looking for bikes without brakes they missed the disk brakes until I got right up next to them. My "Nihongo Tabe Nai" thing is a joke, I guess I did not explain that well enough, I thought you would get it, my bad.

Ride safe!
 
Sep 21, 2011
1
0
11
yokohama
#14
The problems I have is on the road on my bicycle with the trailer, most of the regular beat cops do not know the law, I do, as I asked at the police station. When you have been hassled time and time again by these guys who simply do NOT understand that a bicycle towing a trailer is NOT a bicycle, but a light vehicle, and the rules are not the same, it gets tiresome.
I would like to know more about when a bike is considered a light vehicle. The Yokohama cops don`t know what to make of my Yuba Mundo Longtail.
 
Jun 9, 2011
241
1
36
tokyo
#16
StuInTokyo, you're right, I haven't met you yet, but from your posting history you seem like an awesome guy and I hope to be able to meet you out on a ride sometime. And like jdd says, hopefully with all the delivery companies starting to use bike trailers for deliveries you won't be getting harassed about your trailer as often.
 

theDude

Maximum Pace
Oct 7, 2011
773
111
63
Tokyo
app.strava.com
#18
didn't know you needed one to ride a bicycle.
that is too funny!

You don't but I have heard that you can get a ticket on your driving license while on a bicycle..... would be interesting if somebody could confirm that here.... I try to remember to take mine out when I cycle, mostly worried about remembering to put it in when I'm riding/driving....
 
May 22, 2007
3,619
1,455
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#19
You don't but I have heard that you can get a ticket on your driving license while on a bicycle..... would be interesting if somebody could confirm that here.... I try to remember to take mine out when I cycle, mostly worried about remembering to put it in when I'm riding/driving....
Yes it's complicated. I am in the process of gathering information on this and will post a definitive answer soon (unless someone beats me to it.)
 

theDude

Maximum Pace
Oct 7, 2011
773
111
63
Tokyo
app.strava.com
#20
Yes it's complicated. I am in the process of gathering information on this and will post a definitive answer soon (unless someone beats me to it.)

nice.... looking forward to it!




also....

I've seen the fuzz with a few cyclists pulled over, and they ALL are going through reading off either the serial number or the yellow sticker thing. I'm usually moving so not really paying attention to specifics. I believe that yellow sticker isn't required, rather, recommended. I don't have any, in the event that Fuzz-san want to speak to me on my foreign-bought cycle, should i be worried or ready for anything?


:cop: