Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Riding on the shoulder

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Shiga, Japan
    Posts
    3,730

    Default Riding on the shoulder

    of the highway when there's a traffic jam... what's the penalty? And odds of getting caught?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Kitakyushu
    Posts
    1,054

    Default

    As far as I knew, this was not illegal during a traffic jam. I've done this before with other Japanese riders. I've also ridden past police cars on the shoulder while the police were stuck in the jam. My impression was that it's legal as long as you don't exceed the speed limit, similar to white lining on surface streets.

    Lots of rocks, trash, bolts, nails, and all kinds of junk ends up there though, so it can be hard on the tires.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Down by the river
    Posts
    17,155

    Default

    I'm pretty sure that it's strictly illegal, not sure of the points but guessing 1. When I first started riding here I got a warning for doing that.

    Now I just sack up and split traffic and leave the gutter running for others (usually noobs and Harleys it seems)...


    Here is an earlier post on the topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilTwin View Post
    No - even if you DO see another bike riding the emergency lane, DON'T DO IT. Yesterday they had a MASSIVE trap set up - observers all up and down the Tomei for about 6 km of jam, hiding behind the barriers, and then at the 6KM mark, there were at least a hundred cops set up in a big assembly line of ticket issuing day ruination, with a horde of white bikes ready to go after anyone who failed to pull over.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Kitakyushu
    Posts
    1,054

    Default

    Interesting. Will discontinue doing that then.

    Could it be that this is area or region specific?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kiryu, Gunma
    Posts
    2,476

    Default Riding on the shoulder

    Quote Originally Posted by dmizer View Post
    Interesting. Will discontinue doing that then.

    Could it be that this is area or region specific?
    Nationwide, just like the Road Traffic Law which spells out that it is an offense.

    As an aside, one should never assume that activity one has seen done by others or actions they have taken themselves in full view of a cop car without getting a reaction is necessarily legal.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Shiga, Japan
    Posts
    3,730

    Default

    What's the penalty? Might be worth risking it if the other option is sitting in traffic for hours...

    I'm 90% sure that doctors (assume only medical doctors) can cruise the shoulder without punishment. I know one guys who uses that privilege when there's a jam...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kiryu, Gunma
    Posts
    2,476

    Default Riding on the shoulder

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikuza View Post
    What's the penalty? Might be worth risking it if the other option is sitting in traffic for hours...

    I'm 90% sure that doctors (assume only medical doctors) can cruise the shoulder without punishment. I know one guys who uses that privilege when there's a jam...
    I doubt that any such privilege exists as a formal thing. If he gets by with it I would chalk it up to good lying and the officer exercising discretion.

    Two points and nine thousand yen, by the way.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Kitakyushu
    Posts
    1,054

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cash View Post
    Nationwide, just like the Road Traffic Law which spells out that it is an offense.
    Having recently passed my licence exam and thoroughly reviewed the exam questions and the book, I don't recall having seen this rule. I'll have to pull my book out again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cash View Post
    As an aside, one should never assume that activity one has seen done by others or actions they have taken themselves in full view of a cop car without getting a reaction is necessarily legal.
    I am very aware of this. Just have a look at all the bicycles parked in the clearly labeled "no bicycle parking" areas.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Kanagawa
    Posts
    73

    Default

    AGREE! Leave the shoulder for scooters and trash. Keep shoulder as option to dodge holiday rental car drivers. Split traffic. Youll naturaly feel your limit.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kiryu, Gunma
    Posts
    2,476

    Default Riding on the shoulder

    Quote Originally Posted by dmizer View Post
    Having recently passed my licence exam and thoroughly reviewed the exam questions and the book, I don't recall having seen this rule. I'll have to pull my book out again.
    See:
    車両制限令第9条 and 道交法第17条

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    3,469

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikuza View Post
    What's the penalty? Might be worth risking it if the other option is sitting in traffic for hours...

    I'm 90% sure that doctors (assume only medical doctors) can cruise the shoulder without punishment. I know one guys who uses that privilege when there's a jam...
    Ambulances and other emergency vehicles can, which is what the shoulder on the expressway is meant for and the reason it's as wide as it is.

    As mentioned above, in most places it's a 2 point, 9,000 yen fine offense, but in some areas it's a 3 point 15,000 yen fine as well.

    It is common for the cops to set up a few watchers when a traffic jam forms, along with a secondary team a couple klicks down the road to collar and ticket offenders. The stretch just north of the Yokohama-machida exit on the Tomei is nasty for this.
    1312.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kiryu, Gunma
    Posts
    2,476

    Default Riding on the shoulder

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilTwin View Post
    Ambulances and other emergency vehicles can, which is what the shoulder on the expressway is meant for and ther eason it's as wide as it is.
    Precisely. And the last thing needed is for a bunch of emergency vehicles trying to reach two accident scenes....with one of them being a motorcycle accident on the shoulder blocking access to the second scene. While the probability is absurdly slim, remember that is is possible that we could become involved in a wreck or pile-up on the shoulder that could hamper our own rescue or that of others.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Shiga, Japan
    Posts
    3,730

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cash View Post
    Precisely. And the last thing needed is for a bunch of emergency vehicles trying to reach two accident scenes....with one of them being a motorcycle accident on the shoulder blocking access to the second scene. While the probability is absurdly slim, remember that is is possible that we could become involved in a wreck or pile-up on the shoulder that could hamper our own rescue or that of others.
    And that, not the law, points or fine, is why I won't ride on the shoulder.

    Now, is it true that you can lane split with impunity so long as traffic isn't moving more than 10kph?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Down by the river
    Posts
    17,155

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikuza View Post
    And that, not the law, points or fine, is why I won't ride on the shoulder.







  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Shiga, Japan
    Posts
    3,730

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Twinrider View Post





    You know it! Next thing you know, I'll be laughing at crash pictures. Like I just don't care.

  16. #16

    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikuza View Post
    And that, not the law, points or fine, is why I won't ride on the shoulder.

    Now, is it true that you can lane split with impunity so long as traffic isn't moving more than 10kph?
    Hate to resurrect a dead thread, but didn't see an answer to this and am curious... What are the lane splitting laws?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan (Kita-Ku)
    Posts
    80

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Xinarin13 View Post
    Hate to resurrect a dead thread, but didn't see an answer to this and am curious... What are the lane splitting laws?
    I can't quote the specific laws, but you can generally split anywhere as long as it's done safely and you're not breaking a yellow line. (i.e. risky to split your way up to the front where there's a yellow solid line. On the other side of this, on certain parts of the highway, during a traffic jam, there's a solid yellow on some areas with turns or exits/entrances. I split though these areas even though I probably shouldn't, but never had an issue, yet.

    I've watched scooters and other bikes get ticketed by busting through the jam at a light when there's a solid yellow line. I just stop when the white ends unless I can really get through without touching the yellow line and there's reasonable splace. (next to a kei car or other bike).

    That all said, someone with more details of the actual rulebook can come along and give you more specifics.

    As to the original content of this thread, I've done the emergency lane travel only twice in the past two years. One was during a massive Tomei jam that was stretching nearly 60kms and another on the Chuo Highway when it was some 50km jam before getting into Shinjuku. Not a fan of that, but nearly every bike was trailing through both of those nights.

  18. #18

    Default Riding on the shoulder

    Quote Originally Posted by LCX View Post
    I can't quote the specific laws, but you can generally split anywhere as long as it's done safely and you're not breaking a yellow line. (i.e. risky to split your way up to the front where there's a yellow solid line. On the other side of this, on certain parts of the highway, during a traffic jam, there's a solid yellow on some areas with turns or exits/entrances. I split though these areas even though I probably shouldn't, but never had an issue, yet.

    I've watched scooters and other bikes get ticketed by busting through the jam at a light when there's a solid yellow line. I just stop when the white ends unless I can really get through without touching the yellow line and there's reasonable splace. (next to a kei car or other bike).

    That all said, someone with more details of the actual rulebook can come along and give you more specifics.

    As to the original content of this thread, I've done the emergency lane travel only twice in the past two years. One was during a massive Tomei jam that was stretching nearly 60kms and another on the Chuo Highway when it was some 50km jam before getting into Shinjuku. Not a fan of that, but nearly every bike was trailing through both of those nights.
    Thanks for the reply, very helpful! Would always love to hear the rule book as well, but practical IRL info is great too!

    Sent from my SM-N950U1 using Tapatalk

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •