DRIVING RULES IN JAPAN
Please be careful, drive safely and enjoy the ride.
Driving in Japan is a lot easier than most overseas visitors think. Almost all roads are well marked with both Japanese and English signs. Road signs and rules follow most international standards with some exceptions shown later.
All Japan Campers vehicles come with GPS navigation in English.
Japanese drivers are very friendly and cautious.
Driving outside of major cities lets you enjoy the splendid natural scenery and well-maintained roads. However, you may ruin the holiday fun if you end up in a traffic accident so please observe the following rules:
➜ Drive on the left side
In Japan always drive on the left side of the road. When you cross the opposite lane for right turns or overtaking etc. watch out for the oncoming traffic.
➜ Pedestrians and bicycles have always priority
Pedestrians and bicycles have always priority on the road. Drive carefully and slow down or stop if necessary, especially when you see children, the elderly, or the disabled.
➜ Do not ever drive under an influence of alcohol or drugs
The legal alcohol limit in Japan is 0,0% and it is very strictly observed. You may ruin your holidays or even your life if you drink (even one beer) and drive.The fines are very steep and must be paid by the driver and all passengers. This rule makes Japan one of the safest countries to drive, as there are practically no drunk drivers on the roads.
➜ Seat belt and child car seat
Seat belts are compulsory in Japan. Make sure all passengers are buckled up. Children must use child car seats.
➜ Right-side steering wheel
Japanese cars have the steering wheel on the right-hand side. On the right side of the wheel is the headlight/turn signal control lever, and on the left side are the wiper switch and the gearshift lever. This is, of course, the exact opposite placement of steering wheels in the USA and most of Europe.
➜ Do not use cell phone while driving
Using cell phone while driving is strictly prohibited by the law and it is very dangerous. Park safely before using a cell phone.
➜ Lane change
It is extremely dangerous to change lanes abruptly. When you switch lanes, make sure to signal and confirm that it is safe to do so using rearview mirrors.
It is very dangerous to make abrupt turns without signals or from the wrong lanes.
▶ When turning to the left, stay as near as possible to the left side of the road and turn slowly along the edge of the road. Please be careful of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists who may be trying to overtake you on your left side.
▶ When turning to the right, stay as near as possible to the center line and turn slowly before the center point of the crossroad.
▶ If a crossroad has a "follow directions" sign, make sure to choose and stay in the correct lane for going straight or turning to the right or left accordingly.
➜ Traffic lights
Japanese traffic lights are placed horizontally and in general the meaning of each light is the same as the rest of the world. Please do not judge the traffic light by the movement of other vehicles but make sure to check the lights at all times.
➜ GREEN LIGHT - You may go forward. Even if it's green, however, keep an eye on the movement of other cars and pedestrians. When turning, pedestrians and bicycles have always right of way.
➜ YELLOW LIGHT - Prepare to stop. However, if you are too close to the stop line to stop safely when the signal has turned yellow, you should keep going.
➜ RED LIGHT - Always means Stop.
➜ Green Arrow signal - When a red light comes with a green arrow, you may go in the direction of the arrow. Do not follow the yellow arrow. It is for streetcars ( Tramways) only.
➜ Entering/ Exiting the highways
There are two lanes when entering / exiting highways.
USe the green lines and pay the toll with cash or credit card.
The ETC lanes on the highways allow to get through vehicles with the ETC cards only.
If you enter the ETC lane without the ETC card, the tollgate bar will not open and you need to stop and wait for the instructions.
If you crash into an un-opened barrier you will be heavily fined.
➜ Do not panic in the case of an accident
1.Check your safety. Do not move the car before the Police arrives. Take as many pictures as possible. Turn off the engine. To keep other cars safe, set up the warning triangle behind the car and use the warning flare.
2.In case of injury. If someone is injured in the accident, dial 119 (no area code) to call the ambulance. If you have trouble communicating, ask passers-by for help.
3.Call police. Dial 110 (no area code) to call the police to explain the details of the accident and file a report. You must report an accident no matter how small it is.
4.Call Japan Campers office. You must report the accident to the Japan Campers office. You may have to pay for deductible insurance fee or Non-Operation-Charge(NOC).
➜ Traffic offences. Be careful enough to avoid violations and enjoy driving safely.
Serious offences in Japan Include: Drunk driving, Speeding, Use of cell phone while driving and Illegal parking.
|Drunk Driving||Driving while intoxicated||Imprisonment for up to 5 years or fine of up to 1 million yen|
|Speeding||30 kph or more over the limit||Imprisonment for up to 6 months or fine of up to 100,000 yen|
|Less than 15 kph over the limit||Fine of up to 9,000 yen|
|Using of cell phone while driving||Using of cell phone||Fine of up to 9,000 yen|
|Illegal Parking||No parking/stopping zone||Fine of up to 18,000 yen|