In this Nov. 3 letter, “Culture shift to make cycling safer,” Grant Piper seems to say that he would fear cars were he to ride his bike in the street instead of on the sidewalk.
Here in Osaka, I do sometimes ride in the street. However, it’s not the cars that cause fear; it’s the other cyclists. Osaka-jins don’t learn basic bicycle safety as children and don’t follow any rules. They often ride in the street against traffic, and when they do, they sometimes to try to force cyclists who are riding with traffic, as is proper, away from the curb so that they can pass.
Cyclists are even liable to jump from the sidewalk into the street against traffic. I’ve no doubt that this unpredictable and unsafe behavior leads to injuries and fatalities.
I don’t think it’s so hard to teach children basic bike-safety rules. I even had to learn hand signals. Imagine a world where people on bikes signaled so that you knew what they were going to do!
I know, it’s too much to ask.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.
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