Putting the brakes on the country's bicycle chaos requires more than just imposing bans on headphones, cell phones and umbrellas.

Three killed and more than 11,000 injured in the past five years; it sounds like the toll from a series of earthquakes or terrorist attacks. This carnage, however, is the result of something far more mundane — cycling on the sidewalk in Japan's cities and towns.

It seems that there's something about getting on a bicycle that brings out the inner anarchist in many people. While few of us would dream of yapping into a cell phone on a crowded train or running through a group of pedestrians swinging an umbrella as we go, put us on a bike and such behavior seems perfectly acceptable.