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East Japan city to give residents 2,000 yen for cycling helmet purchases

(Getty Images)

SAKADO, Saitama -- This east Japan city will give 2,000 yen (about $15) to each resident for cycling helmet purchases at the beginning of next month as the national government is set to enforce the revised Road Traffic Act, which will make it a requirement for cyclists to wear them from April 2023.

    Since December 2014, the Sakado Municipal Government in Saitama Prefecture has subsidized the purchase of helmets for residents of middle school age and younger, as well as senior citizens aged 65 and older. By expanding the support to residents of all ages, the city hopes helmet-wearing will become more widespread.

    To that end, 800,000 yen (about $6,100), enough for 400 helmets, has been budgeted for fiscal year 2023. If demand requires it, the city is ready to provide a supplementary budget to help even more residents make the purchase. A city official said that it's likely rare for municipalities within the prefecture to offer such comprehensive support.

    The city's division responsible for traffic management stated that, "Until now, children have been advised to wear helmets, but we hope that this new subsidy system will encourage adults to wear them when riding bicycles, and that they will ensure traffic safety by being a role model for children."

    (Japanese original by Takashi Nakamura, Saitama Nishi Bureau)

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