You must observe traffic rules in accordance with the provisions of the Road Traffic Law. Whether inside or outside the campus, you must take care to operate your bicycle safely by observing the following rules:
At intersections equipped with traffic lights, you must obey the lights. If a traffic light is denoted as ‘For Pedestrians and Bicycles Only,’ you must obey that light. For intersections with ‘Stop’ signs but no traffic lights, you must come to a complete stop. When turning onto a wide road from a narrow street, you must reduce speed.
Riding on sidewalks
When riding on sidewalks specifically directed to do so by a sign or local bylaw, you must travel at a slow speed while keeping to the side closest to the roadway and must stop if your bicycle obstructs the path of pedestrians.
Riding on bicycle paths
When riding on a roadway with a designated bicycle path, unless there are unavoidable circumstances, you must use the bicycle path.
General rules for riding on a roadway
Bicycles are defined as light vehicles by the Road Traffic Law and, by general rule, must travel on the left side of a roadway if it is separated from the sidewalk. However, in the event of unavoidable circumstances, such as road construction or parked vehicles, you may ride on sidewalks to ensure your safety.
You must always ride your bicycle at a speed and in a manner that’s suitable for road and traffic conditions and that won’t endanger others. For instance, you must not carry an open umbrella or any other item that may limit visibility or cause you to lose balance while riding a bicycle.
Ride in a single file
Unless there is a sign saying, ‘Side-by-side riding allowed,’ you must ride in a single file.
Riding under the influence of alcohol is prohibited
You must not ride a bicycle under the influence of alcohol.
No passengers are allowed on bicycles
Except for children six years of age or younger, no passengers are allowed on bicycles in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of Public Safety Commission under the jurisdiction of the respective prefectural and city governments.
Using headlights and tail lights at night
When riding a bicycle on a roadway at night, you must turn the headlight (light only) and tail light on or use a rear reflector in lieu of a tail light. The purpose of lights and reflectors on bicycles is to let other people know that you are there. Riding a bicycle at night without a light is likely to increase the probability of accidents of which either you or another party will be the victim.
Rules for parking bicycles on the campus
There are designated bicycle parking lots on campus. Bicycles parked in a place other than the designated lots may obstruct pedestrians and vehicular traffic. These bicycles may also topple over in strong winds, causing injuries to pedestrians. Allow yourself ample time and make sure to park your bicycle in a designated area. When parking your bicycle outside campus, be sure to do so in a manner which is respectful of the local residents and in a way that will not obstruct pedestrians or cars. As there have been incidents of bicycle thefts, it is recommended that you use two locks to secure your parked bicycle.
Do not abandon your bicycle
As many bicycles are abandoned on campus every year, the university has to collect them on an annual basis. These abandoned bicycles are collected at a cost to the university as junk by the City of Sapporo. We ask that bicycle owners be responsible not abandon their broken bicycles. (Bulky Refuse Collection Center: Tel. 011-281-8153, Fee: 500 yen per bicycle).
Riding bicycles in winter
It is very dangerous to ride a bicycle on a snow-covered surface regardless of the amount of snow that has accumulated. Use public transit instead during the winter. If you have no place to keep your bicycle, consider using the paid winter bicycle storage services offered by the Hokudai Co-op or a bicycle shop near you.