Many students ride bicycles, and because of a recent rise in traffic accidents between pedestrians and bicyclists, let me expand a bit more on traffic rules and regulations.
Pedestrians always have the right of way.
When you see pedestrians, please be extra cautious, slow down and dismount your bike if necessary. You can be arrested if you cause an injury to a pedestrian. There have been cases of steep liability payments brought on by pedestrian-bicycle accidents.
Bicycles are treated the same as automobiles.
Riding a bike is a convenient mode of transportation, but the basic traffic rules are the same as automobiles. You always ride on the left side of the road and ride in the automobile lanes instead of sidewalks.
No driving under the influence.
Laws against driving under the influence have become very strict since a tragic traffic accident in Fukuoka a few years ago. Please note that the same laws apply not only to cars and motorcycles but also to bicycles.
Drunk driving – a jail sentence of 5 years or less or a fine of 1 million yen or less
Driving under the influence – a jail sentence of 3 years or less or a fine of 500,000 yen
Furthermore, if you cause an accident while drunk or under the influence, the penalty could be much more severe. Please never drive while drunk or under the influence. At NILS, if you are found to have driven drunk, you are immediately expelled from school.