The ruling came into effect on October 1 in the city of Nagoya.
In an unusual move aimed at public safety, a city in Japan has banned people from walking on escalators, the Independent reported. The ordinance, which went into effect in Nagoya on October 1, requires people to stand on escalators rather than walk on them in order to prevent accidents.
Under the ordinance, people are required to stand still when riding escalators in public places such as train stations, office buildings, and shopping centers, Kyodo News reported. Surprisingly, there are no penalties for breaking the rule.
Notably, it is usual in Japan for people on escalators to stand still on the left side and leave the right side for people to walk up or down. However, authorities are now hoping that people stand still on either side at train stations and other buildings.
The move comes after several incidents of people losing their balance and knocking others over, as well as accidents involving commuters running up and down escalators, have been reported. There are also dangers for those with disabilities or injuries, who need crutches or walking canes.
A total of 805 escalator accidents were categorised as being caused by "improper use" between 2018 and 2019, as per Japan Times.
The Nagoya City government has also put up posters about the new ordinance at major train stations. Some of these posters feature cartoons on escalators, with messages like, ''Let's stop and get on both right and left'' and ''When using escalators, stop and use both the right and left sides. It's my duty!''
Nagoya is the second city in Japan to introduce such an ordinance. In October 2021, Saitama Prefecture also prohibited any movement while riding escalators. The ordinance asked places with escalators to put signage asking riders to refrain from walking or running on the machines.