A Ministry of Transportation panel on Friday confirmed a plan calling on local authorities to enact orders to require cyclists to take out liability insurance.
The plan was approved at the first meeting of the expert group to discuss compensation schemes following a series of court decisions ordering the payment of substantial damages for bicycle accidents involving pedestrians have died or been seriously injured.
According to the panel, led by Keiji Habara, a professor at Kansai University, only six of the country's 47 prefectures and five major cities designated by ordinance require cyclists to sign a liability insurance policy.
The number of collisions between cyclists has been increasing in Japan since 2015, reaching 2,749 in 2017.
Collisions between cyclists and pedestrians have almost stabilized. In 2017, 2,550 such cases occurred. Of the cases where pedestrians died or were seriously injured, the proportion of cyclists involved who were confirmed to have insurance coverage was 60%.
The proportion of bicycle users with insurance increases in the prefectures of Saitama and Hyogo as well as in Nagoya, Aichi prefecture, the country's capital, and in Sakai city, in the prefecture of # 39; Osaka. .
Noting that prescription-based measures are effective, the group will discuss related issues, including the extent of coverage of this insurance and the opportunity to create a mandatory liability insurance system. for cyclists.
In July 2013, the Kobe District Court in Hyogo ordered the mother of a primary school student to pay some 95 million yen after the child, who was on bicycle, was killed. Was crushed against a woman and left her disabled.
In January 2014, the Tokyo District Court rendered a judgment rendering justice to a man who had hit a woman with her bicycle and killed her, paying some 47 million yen in damages.