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Drive Hokkaido

Safety-minded driving

Basic rules and manners

Driving on winter roads

  • Change tires early
  • Early brake operation and the use of engine braking
  • Soft brake operation and ABS
    (anti-lock brake system)
  • Watch your distance

What to do in a traffic accident

Major road signs and traffic lights in Japan

Traffic Safety Group, Safe Living Environment Promotion Division, Bureau of Lifestyle Improvement, Department of Environment and Lifestyle, Hokkaido Government
Kita 3-jo, Nishi 6-chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Tel: 011-204-5219
Fax: 011-232-4820

The year’s slogan , Stop traffic deaths , For a safe and secure motorized society ? Hokkaido

Major road signs and traffic lights in Japan

Road signs represent the law, and breaking the law can lead to accidents.
Traffic violations are subject to punishment.
Please comply with the rules and enjoy safe and secure driving.

Stop before the stop line and check whether it is safe to proceed.

No entry to vehicles
Vehicles are not allowed to enter (this is the exit of a one-way passage).

No entry except in the designated direction.
Use only in the designated direction (as indicated by the arrow).

No parking
Do not park here. (Illegal parking causes traffic jams and obstructs the passage of emergency vehicles.)

Maximum speed
Do not exceed the limit indicated by the speed sign (the example is 50 km/h). *All speed signs indicate kilometers per hour.

No parking or stopping
Do not park or stop any vehicles here.

Railroad crossings
A train is approaching when the alarm sounds and the lights flash. Stop the vehicle before the crossing and wait until the train has passed to proceed.

No passage of vehicles
Vehicles are not allowed to pass through here.

Tips on Japanese traffic lights

Ignoring traffic lights can result in serious accidents. Even if you do not see people or vehicles around you, you must obey the signals.

green lights

Even at green lights, check the safety of your surroundings.

Arrow signals
Even when the traffic light is red, you can proceed in the direction of the arrow.
The yellow arrow signal is for streetcars only.

Blinking red lights
Stop: Check right and left before proceeding.

Blinking yellow lights
Caution: Check for pedestrians and vehicles coming from the right or the left.

There are single-type flashing signals in the suburbs. These function in the same way as three-color signals.