What does Japanese law say about pedal reflectors?

timdesuyo

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Mar 29, 2010
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#1
I know they are required in Europe, but what about Japan? Does anyone have a full list of the lights and reflectors required or banned by law? (Are bright green lights illegal? Is there a legal requirement for reflector colors?)
 
May 22, 2007
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halffastcycling.com
#3
I know they are required in Europe, but what about Japan? Does anyone have a full list of the lights and reflectors required or banned by law? (Are bright green lights illegal? Is there a legal requirement for reflector colors?)
The law is not as prescriptive as you might wish.

(When riding) at night, a reflector positioned such that it reflects light back to a standard* headlight 100m to the rear of the bicycle. The reflector color must be orange or red**.​

* There's a whole book about standard headlights for vehicles, but you get the idea.

** A Tokyo bylaw requires the rear reflector to be red, not orange.

So long as you meet the specifications above, the reflector can be on the bike, the pedals, your helmet or clothing, or whatever.

Front lights must be white or pale yellow, and illuminate sufficiently to recognise traffic obstructions in the the road up to 10m ahead.​

So those teeny-tiny LED 'position' lights do not meet the legal requirements.

To my perennial consternation, there is no provision in law regarding or requiring rear lights. But if you have a red light on the front of your bike you're not likely to live for very long, I think.

Keep the rubber side down!

--Mike--
 

GSAstuto

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#4
Rearward visible reflector(s) are required by the light vehicle code. These may be substituted by light. It doesn't seem to say exactly what color(s) are allowed or how many, etc. There is much vagueness in the Japanese motor vehicle code. Its mainly there to just give the police <some> way to harrass whomever they feel like within whatever context they <police> interpret the code.
 

timdesuyo

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Mar 29, 2010
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#5
So there isn't a specific pedal reflector law? Just a rear-facing red reflector? Cool beans. I know that it would be a pain in the butt to get reflectors for SPD pedals, but after my last brush with the law, it's probably for the best to be in compliance with the letter of the law, regardless of how many extra rear-facing bright lights you have. It will come up, I promise.
 
May 22, 2007
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#6
So there isn't a specific pedal reflector law?
That's right. If there were a legal requirement, every set of pedals sold (for road use) would have to be sold with reflectors. That happens in markets where pedal reflectors are mandatory, but not here in Japan.

As a driver, I can confirm that (clean) pedal reflectors make a huge difference to cyclist visibility. The reciprocal motion screams "Bicycle!" But ScotchLite on shoes or a reflective ankle band is good too. Too many cyclists and pedestrians dress themselves and their equipment in ninja-style, with only the glow of their mobile phone screen betraying their position.
 

StuInTokyo

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Dec 3, 2010
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#7
..........Too many cyclists and pedestrians dress themselves and their equipment in ninja-style, with only the glow of their mobile phone screen betraying their position.
That is funny, and true! :rolleyes: :D

I got stopped a while back by a cop for not having a headlight.....? I have a headlamp mounted on my helmet.... nope, not according to this guy, not good enough, the light has to be on the bicycle....?:confused: So I clicked the little knog flashing LED thing I have on the headtube of the bike and he just admonished me for not having a light on. I then asked him "What about the cyclists who ride down the road with one hand clutching a small flashlight, is that OK?" (even though they have a LOT less control of the mamachari as one hand is occupied and they can now only use one brake) "Yes he replied, that is fine, as it is resting on the bicycle, so it is "On" the bicycle.......:eek:

I guess if I'd taken my helmet off and slung in over the handle bars he would have been happy with that...... moron.....

I seriously think there is a "Cop 101" course called "how to make up stupid rules and apply them randomly during the day" at the Police Academy.... :mad:
 

FarEast

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#8
I was stopped a few years back afer a night ride on the MTB. I had a little LED mounted on the bars that is brighter than most standard lights I've seen in the shops and he pulled me over and started laying into me as I had two larger lights mounted on the bars that weren't turned on.

He told me that I should switch them on.... which I did.... all 2x 800 lumens worth, I think he got corrective eye surgery for free that night. His face was a classic!:eek:

By the way if anyone is interested there is a small booth in Akihabara that sells CREE bulbs at an amazingly cheep price!
 

FarEast

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#10
I picked up the Cree bulbs for about 2,000 JPY.

Power 800 Lumens not sure what you mean about light temp..... but they don't over heat the Cateye Units they are in.
 

timdesuyo

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Mar 29, 2010
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#11
I picked up the Cree bulbs for about 2,000 JPY.

Power 800 Lumens not sure what you mean about light temp..... but they don't over heat the Cateye Units they are in.
Sorry... Thats a crossover from my other source of otakudom. I'm always on the lookout for good bright cheap lights for photography, but then the light temprature (the color the light appears to be) becomes important :D
 
Jan 25, 2011
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London, south.
#13
i agree that some sort of foot/pedal reflector is a good idea since they show up when exposed to dipped headlights and are always moving. Most bike shoes or overshoes have something on them so i never bothered with anything on the pedal itself.
 

Sikochi

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Sep 13, 2010
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#14
I have the fibre flare rear lights on the bike attached to the seatstays which provide a 360 degree light source. Combined with ankle reflectors they kick light out everywhere, so if anyone ever hits me from behind I think they should be instantly sized up for a guide dog.

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timdesuyo

Speeding Up
Mar 29, 2010
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Tokyo
#15
I have the fibre flare rear lights on the bike attached to the seatstays which provide a 360 degree light source. Combined with ankle reflectors they kick light out everywhere, so if anyone ever hits me from behind I think they should be instantly sized up for a guide dog.

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fs.wiggle.co.uk%2Fimages%2Ffibre-flare-ind.jpg&hash=91a268f03f21f12c15071fd911204a82
proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fs.wiggle.co.uk%2Fimages%2Ffibre-flare-shorty-ind.jpg&hash=883945a3f03589a6ec678643da88405c
Dude...I was actually looking to buy a yellow one of those, and strap it to my down tube. They have the yellow ones availble on the corporate web page, but I emailed their japan retailer, and got no response. You know where I might be able to get one?
 

jdd

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#16
Okay, I've seen lights on seat posts, also on (in) helmets.

Is there anything that you could strap to an ankle or clip on to a shoe that would take advantage of the movement?
(a light, and not just something reflective)

I do have one little mini-light, but it's white and it's not something that you could clip to a shoe. It's the front half of this two-piece set:

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/lifeline-mini-light-set/

The rear part of that might work IF it had the right kind of alligator clip to clip onto a shoe, but it looks like a frame/post mount.

Ideas?
 

Sikochi

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#17
Dude...I was actually looking to buy a yellow one of those, and strap it to my down tube. They have the yellow ones availble on the corporate web page, but I emailed their japan retailer, and got no response. You know where I might be able to get one?
I think you need to find a shop that has a distribution agreement and get them to order it. I saw one in a shop here, and bought it just to try it out and was so impressed that I ordered more for the wife`s bike as well - the shop had the catalogue and showed me the options - red, green, blue and yellow. I went for blue and red ones. However, whilst the blue ones came within a week, the red one took about a month and a half so maybe there are problems with the importer. I`ve never seen anything other than red ones on the UK online bike shops` sites, so don`t think that is an option. I do recommend them; they continued to work through one monsoon commute and the only nit-picking is the on/off switch is a bit finnickity.

Is there anything that you could strap to an ankle or clip on to a shoe that would take advantage of the movement?
(a light, and not just something reflective)
I`ve seen reflective ankle/arm bands in the shops that have lights in the centre of them. Just decided it was a bit too much attention grabbing on top of everything else. You know: helmet, front lights that actually light up the road, rear red and blue lights, ankle reflectors...I think anything else and the car drivers would be like rabbits in headlights and drive straight into me :bike2:
 

timdesuyo

Speeding Up
Mar 29, 2010
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#18
I think you need to find a shop that has a distribution agreement and get them to order it.
I would have, except that I walked into the Joker / Y's Road in Shinjuku 3-chome today on my way somewhere else, and they had all the colors, but just one yellow one.

I grabbed it up, but I'm a little gun shy with the law. I know that in the States, having any weird colored lights on your bike is a technical no-no, and rather than have that come up during an accident investigation, I'd prefer to have the approved amber/yellow/orange (whatever you want to call it) side-lighting.

I haven't seen any lights for shoes, but I'm surprised someone like Knog or Cateye doesn't make something that attaches to the shoe / overshoe.
 

StuInTokyo

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Dec 3, 2010
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#19
Tim, you told me with your recent encounter with the traffic law that the red light on the back of your bike is NOT supposed to flash, is my memory correct on that?
 

timdesuyo

Speeding Up
Mar 29, 2010
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Tokyo
#20
Tim, you told me with your recent encounter with the traffic law that the red light on the back of your bike is NOT supposed to flash, is my memory correct on that?
Man, Stu. I thought I replied to this. It's a little complicated, so I explain next time I see you, but yeah. I think so.