Police in Tokyo have revealed that a cyclist was arrested for the first time in Japan for riding a brakeless bike, which was in violation of the Road Traffic Act. The Metropolitan Police Department added that the 31 year old man had warned several times that riding his competition-style BMX bicycle in the city was against the law, as it did not have brakes on the back wheel, and can warrant fines of up to 50,000 yen (about US$500).
The Road Traffic Act requires that a bicycle have brakes installed on both wheels in order to be ridden on public roads, and Tokyo police say they warned the unnamed man first in March of 2012, and again in June 2012, to put brakes on the back wheel. He was fined for riding in the capital city’s Yoyogi neighborhood, but apparently declined to show up for his court summons a total of seven times. As he continued to refuse paying the fine, he was taken into custody on Monday.
Recently the Tokyo police have been cracking down on cyclists in a number of ways, from limiting parking outside heavily used train stations, to criminally charging those who ride dangerously or cause accidents. While the competition bike-preferring rider clearly fit into the later category, the police quoted him as saying that he never expected to be arrested.