Crime and Punishment
The Japanese police are finally starting to crack down on those that use their cellphones while riding their bicycles in Japan. The fine for such an offense is a cool 50,000 Yen (about $500 US). Up till now most have gotten away with just a warning from the boys in blue, but not anymore.
This is the manner that most changes to the law are made; there is an initial phase where the actual penalties are not assesed and cops just hand out warnings. But now it seems Osaka is getting tough on this issue and are starting to hand out actual tickets.
I have no problem with this, having been the near victim of these pedaling yackers more than once while on the sidewalks of Japan, most of the times as a pedestrian and not a driver.
But to really make a difference I would like there to be some additional categories of finable offenses to cut down on the number of “incoveniences” that one encounters during daily life in Japan.
So here is my list (in no discernable order) of what what behavior (or misbehavior) should be tagged with a fine:
- NOT giving up your seat on the train to an elderly, pregnant, or otherwise more needy person: 49,650 Yen. (Please note: all bets are off during rush hour on the Yamanote line, it’s every salaryman for himself)
- Taxi drivers pulling over and in broad daylight (or broad “neon-light”) and pissing on the road: 10,000 Yen.
- Cramming yourself into an obviously already overcrouwded train car: 5,000 Yen. (Please note: this does not apply if is happens to be the last train for the night)
- Falling asleep on the train and consequently lurching into the lap of the person sitting next to you: 10,000 Yen (The “victim” may decline that the fine be paid, depening on how cute to “offender” is and if he/she is able to strike up a conversation with the offender that results in at least one date)
- Restaurants with Smoking and Non-Smoking sections of the dining area that are separated by nothing more than the “Smoking” and “Non-Smoking” signs: 5,239,452 Yen.
- Girls who proceed to break out an entire makeup cabinet and doll themselves up on the train: 10,000 Yen.
- Salarymen (or women) who while riding the train home late one night after a round of binge drinking with co-workers pukes on the train: 170,000 Yen. (Please note: the fine doubles if it were the last train of the night, see # 3 above. After all, as everyone knows, your supposed to puke in your own briefcase or purse)
- Clueless gaijin that hold a 120 decible conversation on the train with their other clueless gaijin friends whilst everyone else tries to pretend to sleep (excpet those guilty of offense # 4): 40,000 Yen.
- People on trains who refuse to blow their noses and be done with it, but instead continually sniffle and slowley drown in their own juices while sitting right next to you: 84,000 Yen.
- Standing in the same train car as me while elderly, pregnant, or otherwise more needy than me becasue you KNOW I will give up my seat to you because I am a gaijin: 350 Yen, which just so happens to be enough to buy me a beer at the next available convenience store or vending machine 🙂
Anyone else have a “finable” offense that they would like to see codified into law and then enforced?
Please, by all means share it with the rest of us.