There are rules for cyclists as well as drivers.
1. Use roadways in principle. Riding on sidewalks is allowed only in exceptional cases.
●Bicycle riding on sidewalks is permitted within areas with road signs or other signposts indicating permission to do so.
●In the case of no road signs, the followings are allowed as exceptions:
1) when the cyclist is younger than 13 or older than 70
2) when the cyclist has a physical disability
3) when traveling on sidewalks is unavoidable for safety reasons (road construction, heavy traffic, narrow path, etc.)
2. Ride on the left-hand side of the road. (Riding on the right-hand side is prohibited.)
●Use roadways and ride on the left on roadways in principle. Riding on sidewalks is allowed only in exceptional cases.
●Riding on the right on roadways is dangerous because it makes the relative velocity increase compared with riding on the left.
●Riding on the right on roadways does not only become a nuisance to riders who ride on the left, but also it would be dangerous because your figure is difficult to see from drivers at intersections.
3. On sidewalks, pedestrians have the right-of-way.
●On sidewalks, pedestrians have the right-of-way. Slow down and keep to the side closest to the roadway.
●Walk bicycles on sidewalks as not to obstruct pedestrians.
4. Obey safety rules.
●Bicycles are classified as light vehicles.
●As well as drivers do, cyclists have to obey traffic light signals and stop signs.
●Obey traffic light signals at intersections. Come to a full stop and check the traffic in all directions to make sure it is safe to enter the intersection.
●The first step for road safety is to carry your intention to drivers and pedestrians by eye contact.
●Mutual respect for each other will make the road a safer place.
●Riding after drinking alcohol is strictly prohibited.
●Drunken bicycle riding is prohibited, just as drunk driving is. Penalty for drunken riders is imprisonment for up to five years or a fine of up to one million yen.
●Go drinking by Porocle, go home by public transports -let’s choose a smart way for transfer.
●To inform your existence to the surrounding enhances your safety.
●Use your front light after dark as same as other vehicles.
●When it gets dark, the front light of Porocleturns on automatically, so that you can ride safely.
●Riding side by side on bicycles is prohibited, except for areas with road signs indicating “riding side by side is permitted.”
●You must not ride a bicycle in a way that hinders visibility nor ride a bicycle with unstable condition. (i.g. holding an open umbrella or hanging objects on the handlebars.)
●Cyclists should not talk on (or operate) a mobile phone when riding.
●You must not ride a bicycle in a way that prevents you from hearing traffic sounds and voices. (i.g.wearingan earphone or a headphone.)
5. Children must wear helmets.
●Infants and children must wear helmets when riding a bicycle.
●Especially when guardians ride a bicycle with children, the height from ground to the children is over 1m, so that his/her head would be terribly shocked when the bicycle falls.
●Guardians should instruct their children to wear helmets when riding on bicycles to reduce risk of serious head injury.
*Please see the below for the details of traffic rules (Hokkaido Prefectural Police Website / English page)