• Kyodo News


Anticipating the lifting of a ban on carrying two children on a bicycle, the National Police Agency released safety standards Thursday for allowable bikes.

Major bicycle makers are developing safer models that will meet the standards when the ban is lifted, possibly by July.

In its report, the agency noted that bicycles are an indispensable means of transportation for parents with two or more children, who routinely ignore the ban.

This problem could be solved by lifting the ban on bikes that meet the safety standards, the report said, adding that the economic merits during a recession cannot be ignored and reckoning that allowing two children on a bike could help stem the falling birthrate.

The NPA gave up trying to enforce the ban after meeting with strong opposition from riders, particularly mothers who said they needed to ride bicycles with their children to go shopping or take them to kindergarten.

The safety standards the NPA compiled based on an interim report last July are mostly related to bicycle structure.

Specifically, bicycles should be sufficiently strong to carrying two children — one up front and the other in back — and the rider, the report said.

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