JPSS, for information about studying in Japan's universities and graduate schools. > News／Useful information for studying abroad > Guide for Studying Abroad in Japan > Lectures for Foreign Students on Disaster Control > "Keep the bicyclists' rule for safe driving"
Listed below are the cases of a road accident.
Furthermore, we have the cases of a bicycle accident which led to the large amount of compensation for damage (from Metropolitan Police Department's website).
By the Road Traffic Law, a bicycle is treated same as a vehicle. You must obey the bicyclists' rule, or penalty will be imposed on. Please be alert and keep its danger always in your mind when riding a bicycle as much as driving a car.
1. In principle, bicycles should be on the main road. Keep the left side of the roadway. But cyclists may travel on the sidewalk on the occasions described below.
When you travel on the sidewalks, you must ride in a way and at a speed that does not obstruct pedestrian traffic and keep to the side facing the road.
The following points are also what should be aware of.
If the police inquire you because of a violation of the traffic laws, it is no use making excuse that you haven't known well about the traffic rules. More importantly, if you make someone injured by an accident it would bring great blame upon you. Be particularly careful when riding a bicycle.
If you would be involved in a traffic accident, act as stated below regardless of you being a victim or a person responsible for the accident.
1. Treat injured persons
Confirm the damage situation and if someone gets seriously injured, please call an ambulance immediately when injury is serious (dial number: 119)
2. Report to the police
Please call policemen right away (dial number: 110). If you do not report it to the police, they don't issue a proof of a traffic accident that will be required when you putting in a claim for insurance premiums.
When you are injured, receive medical treatment at hospital afterward even if it's not serious. Also, you are advised to ask Japanese acquaintances of yours (school teachers, school clerks, or your coworkers) for advices and consult with them for further arrangement as much as possible.
When you buy a bicycle you need to register it in proof of your being the owner of the bicycle. You can ask the shop for its registration. If you buy a secondhand one from a friend or somebody, make sure that it is registered. If it is registered, ask your friend to write the proof of transferring of ownership. Take this certificate and Alien Registration Card to the nearest bicycle shop to ask the registration transfer.
At train stations or corner of the streets in Japan, you can spot bicycles still fit for use, left there for many days without being taking care of. Though they look a waste, they should not be picked up by others. If you do, the police find out that from registered number (all bicycles are supposed to be registered as explained above) and you will be charged with embezzlement.
A bicycle will be treated as an "abandoned bicycle" if it is not parked at a designated area, then it might be cleared away by a local authority. In order to get the bicycle back you have to make a claim and pay the fine at a specified place. You bicycle always should be parked at the designated area.