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Rules regarding carrying 2 kids on a bicycle

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  • Rules regarding carrying 2 kids on a bicycle

    I was wondering what the law is regarding carrying children on a bicycle.

    For the past year, I have been carrying my two boys around the neighborhood in Yokohama using my Yuba Mundo Cargo bicycle, and until today never had any problems from the police.

    However, yesterday, with both boys on the back, I made the mistake while waiting for a light, of stopping in front of a koban in my neighborhood, a very young looking police officer who I`ve never seen before, told me to walk the bike or take the kids off because, "in Japan 3 people on a bike is dangerous". Of course, as soon as the boys got off, the youngest was almost hit by a woman carrying 2 kids on a mama-chari. On her bike one child was in front and the other, bigger kid was in the back. When I asked him why a bike like that was OK he said "two in back is dangerous."

    The bike with the boys 6 and 8 on the back looks like this -





    Anyway, I would like to know what the law is exactly. Wondering if this is a gray area, since longtail cargo bikes like this are extremely rare here - but the whole purpose of these bikes is to carry passengers and/or heavy loads (up to 400lbs). The bike is extremely useful for our family since we don`t have a car, and really don`t want one. Basically, from experience, I think it is safer to have two energetic boys with me on the bike than running around all over the place so I`d rather not stop if I don`t have to.

  • #2
    They actually banned bikes with two childseats on them a few years back, but then they came out with a new stabler kind of bike that has two tires on the front, and allowed those. Your bike doesn't fall into that category (but I bet the woman who passed you doesn't either). The police don't seem to be enforcing this rule anymore though.

    One of the best ways to save yourself a lot of stress in Japan is to learn to say "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't know. I won't do that again", then walk away until you are out of site and carry on as if nothing happened. I've been stopped by the police a good 20 times for not having a front light on my bike at night, and I've done this every time.

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    • #3
      When I renewed my drivers license I remember getting a pamphlet about bicycle safety and it had a rule about 2 kids.

      I think you could have 2 kids on 1 bike if one is in a baby carrier or one on the front and one on the back, but there was a weight restriction.

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      • #4
        They updated the law about two years ago. One child in front and one in back is allowed on bikes that meet certain requirements. If you go to a bike shop, you'll see a special stickers on those bikes. However, the weight/age limit is quite low, 15 kgs on front. I can't remember the weight on back, but the age range was 2-6 years. The new law also requires kids in a child seat to wear helmets.

        Children in a baby carrier don't count, by the way.

        I don't know about the bike that you have, though. Did you buy it here? Have you tried calling the maker?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by kanazawaku View Post
          Children in a baby carrier don't count, by the way.
          So you could technically have 3 kids on a bike?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by 91Coupe View Post
            So you could technically have 3 kids on a bike?
            Well - four (or more) if you count any in the oven................

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            • #7
              Or potentially five if you count the maturity level of the mother involved

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              • #8
                Boys 8 and 6 should be on their own bikes. I see five years old riding their own bikes.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by BackDoor_Man View Post
                  Boys 8 and 6 should be on their own bikes. I see five years old riding their own bikes.
                  They both like to ride and often do, though the 6 year old just started.

                  You probably can`t imagine a bike being used the way other people use a car. Most days, I commute on it the 3km to work in Yokohama, and then around 5 o`clock pick up both kids at two different schools(they are not allowed to ride their bikes to school), and then maybe go to the supermarket, then home. On my day off, Friday, I meet my 8 year old with his bike (I tow it), give it to him, and we ride together to Marinos Town for soccer practice with my 6 year old sitting behind me.

                  With this bike, a car is not necessary and I very rarely need to use the train. We use the money we save to pay for things like the soccer school.

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