Friday, January 11, 2008

Multi-tasking cyclists beware.

Japan is planning new measures to discourage some of the more outlandish but popular saddle habits, including "triple riding" (balancing children on the frame), listening to portable music players or using an umbrella while on the move. In the first changes to cycling rules for almost 30 years, warnings will be issued to cyclists who listen to music players or chat on mobile phones. Offenders face a fine of 20,000 yen (£93) from this spring if they are caught triple riding - a balancing act usually involving an adult and two small children spaced out along the length of the bicycle.The constant ringing of bicycle bells on footpaths will be discouraged, as will the most disturbing trend among teen cyclists: texting while pedalling. The new measures, recommended by a police advisory panel, are designed to halt the rise in accidents involving bicycles. The national police agency reported 4,020 such mishaps last year, a sevenfold increase over the past decade.

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