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  • Glynn


To stop or not to stop? ... that is the question.

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of an irate policeman,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles and a traffic ticket!

Well, the answer to the above is of course... just stop! I suppose it's the expected answer of the law-abiding citizen and an answer that goes against the inner rebels dark side. But please hear me out?

Since living and riding in Japan I have noticed that Japan's finest (Police Officers) like to take some of their rest breaks near stop signs. Not directly next to stop signs, of course, but you know, just far enough away to be inconspicuous/obvious. And of course that goes not only for here, but police officers inhabit many intersections in the world, where a bikers considered observation is a necessity.

Please be aware that in Japan we drive on the correct side of the road... THE LEFT! Well, it is the required side if you're carrying your sword & shield, as all good knights of the road should. Meaning that the following quotation/rule must take that into account. In the Japanese Highway Code (UK) book, which is known as 'Rules of the Road' here in Japan, stipulates:

''You must stop before the stopping line (or behind the near side of the intersection when the stopping line does not exist) at an intersection where a ''Stop'' traffic sign is posted, and give way to streetcars/trams or vehicles traversing the perpendicular road. The same rule applies to intersections where you are subject to a flashing red light ahead.''

Believe me when I say, that previous five years of road safety employment (part of my varied career, as previously explained in the About Me section) can go some way to accredit my advice and that it's up to you if you wish to take any of the following guidance, on board.

You see once you are stationary, it gives the brain time to process any information your eyes and ears are receiving. And depending on the time of day, our energy levels, attitude and what we have prioritised for that particular journey means that our brains can be a little foggy on the information it's receiving.

photo courtesy

There is a particular T intersection on a country road about 30km from where I live that a police motorcyclist likes to take his breaks, conveniently for him, hidden behind a tall hedgerow out of sight of the keen motorcyclist approaching the stop line. Luckily, the first time I arrived at that particular intersection, I had routinely checked both my rearview mirrors, glimpsing the bright blue overalled police officer (Shiro-Bai) mounted on his white Honda CB750F. Me thinks it will be a full stop...behind the solid white line!

The Shiro-Bai are not to be taken lightly. Highly skilled riders with a passion for motorcycles. Respect is due whether or not you've had your collar felt. The video below will illustrate the skill and commitment they have and I hope to write a more detailed post later on. And so if you decide to contest any of your errors or mis-judgement during your misdemeanours, then make sure you have your facts right!

video courtesy of MotoBasic

As I mentioned above, making a full stop is going to save a lot of grief and pain to all concerned, who all arrive at the same time and where causality reigns.

Causality is an influence by which one event, process, state, or object (a cause) contributes to the production of another event, process, state, or object (an effect) where the cause is partly responsible for the effect, and the effect is partly dependent on the cause. In general, a process has many causes, which are also said to be causal factors for it, and all lie in its past. An effect can in turn be a cause of, or causal factor for, many other effects, which all lie in its future.

courtesy of WikiPedia


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