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Tenri Police Increase Enforcement of Bicycle-Riding Regulations

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Hanging banner in Hondori reading, "Bicycle riders: Let's observe traffic rules too"

Some information for those of you who may be returning to Jiba soon for the Oyasato Seminar or International Hinokishin Corps: the police in Tenri have cracking down on bad bicycling behavior since May this year to ensure the safety of motorists and pedestrians.

I have seen police officers patrolling the Tenri Hondori shopping arcade at night recently, not to mention hanging banners that promote good bicycling behavior, so it is advisable to bike in Tenri with caution since a 50,000 yen traffic fine is the last thing you want while you are here.

Even worse, in the event you are in an accident and injure a pedestrian due to prohibited bicycling behavior, you will be asked to pay compensation to the accident victim.

To give an idea on what bicycle-riding infractions the police will likely stop you for, here is a caution list handed out to students of the Tenrikyo Language Institute.

Sign designating the Hondori as an area to be shared by bicyclists and pedestrians. No bicycles allowed on the 25th and 26th.

  • As a rule, ride your bicycles on the road (Exceptions include designated areas or when the traffic situation does not allow it.)
  • Ride your bicycles on the left side of the road.
  • Yield to pedestrians when riding on the sidewalk. While riding on the sidewalk, yield to pedestrians and ride on the side closer to the road at a reduced speed.
  • The following behaviors are prohibited: Riding while intoxicated, double-riding, and riding side-to-side with another rider.
  • Turn your lights on at night. (Ensure your bicycle has a working headlight and a reflector in the rear)
  • Observe traffic lights. Pause at intersections before proceeding.
  • When making a left turn at a traffic light, make a stop when the light is red.
  • Do not use cell phones or listen to portable music devices while riding.

(Violators will be fined up to 50,000 yen, equivalent to about $627.50 USD)

  • Do not ride a bicycle with an open umbrella. If you are held responsible for an accident, you will be asked to pay compensation equivalent to what a motorist pays.


(TLI caution list in Japanese)

  • 自転車は原則車道 を走る。(指定の表示がある場合と、交通状況からやむを得ない場合を除く)
  • 車道では左側を通行する。
  • 歩道では歩行者優先で車道寄りを徐行。
  • 飲酒運転、二人乗り、並進禁止。
  • 夜間はライト点灯。
  • 信号を守る。交差点での一時停止と安全確認。
  • 交差点での左折時も正面信号が赤なら停止すること。
  • 運転中に携帯電話、携帯音楽プレーヤーは使用しないこと。
  • 傘差し運転をしないこと・加害者となった場合の補償額は、自動車と同様

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