Cycling traffic violations hit a record high of over 20,000 last year in Japan and the rising trend appears to be continuing this year as more people turn to bikes amid the coronavirus pandemic, police data showed Friday.

Violations hit 22,859 in 2019 and have already reached 12,839 in the first half of this year, the National Police Agency said.

It warned that of the 427 cyclists who died in accidents in 2019, 329 of them, or 77 percent, did so when violating traffic rules. More than half the violations, or 12,472, involved ignoring traffic lights, it said.