On the 16th of this month, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department announced the results of a bicycle safety enforcement campaign they implemented on the 10th. In those six days, 1571 people were issued warnings for illegal behavior, and over half of those were to people wearing earphones or headphones while riding. An additional 27 people were issued tickets.
According to the announcement, the police officers went to 110 different places around the city for an hour at a time during commuting hours and issued warnings or tickets to bike riders engaged in dangerous or incorrect behavior.
Of the 27 tickets issued, 12 were for not having brakes equipped, 9 were for entering a railway crossing when the alarm was sounding, and 6 were for running red lights. 855 people were issued warnings for wearing headphones because they aren’t able to hear traffic noises around them and present a danger to themselves and others.
According to one businessman in his 50s who was issued a warning, “I had no idea that it was illegal!”
The police recognized that was part of the reason for the high number of violations. “The sense of hearing is one of the ways that riders can assure safety and avoid accidents. We are endeavoring to make sure the public is aware of the proper rules and manners.”