Tokyo pushes bill obliging cyclists to have liability insurance amid rise in accidents
Japan Times -- Sep 05
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has submitted an amendment that would oblige cyclists in the capital to purchase liability insurance policies, following a series of bicycle accidents in which pedestrians were severely injured and secured huge compensation payments.

The revised ordinance would bring Tokyo in line with other municipalities and prefectures that have already enacted legislation mandating the use of such insurance programs. The ordinance, however, does not include penalties for violators.

The revision, if passed by the ongoing session of the metropolitan assembly, would take effect as soon as April 1 next year, Masayuki Ikenoya, a Tokyo official, said Wednesday.

“We will thoroughly make sure we raise awareness of rules and appropriate manners expected of bicycle users, as well as laying the groundwork for an environment where those hurt by accidents see proper redress,” Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike told the city assembly Tuesday upon submitting the amendment.

Under the revised ordinance, bicycle users, operators of bicycle rental shops and employers of staff who use bicycles in the course of their work will be obliged to join liability insurance. Asked what prompted the revision, Ikenoya cited a rise in the number of bicycle-related accidents in Tokyo over the past two years.

Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department statistics show that the percentage of traffic accidents in the capital involving cyclists stood at 36.1 percent in 2018, up from 33.4 percent in 2017. This is significantly higher than the nationwide average of 19.1 percent, as recorded by the National Police Agency in 2017.

News source: Japan Times
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