Back in 2014 we reported on a Tokyo-based group of tourist event organisers that set up a Mario Kart-themed tour of the city - in actual karts! 

Well, fast forward three years and the the city is awash with colourful convoys, so much so that the Japanese tourist ministry is bringing in new laws to ensure blue shell-flinging drivers are safe before they hit the roads; seatbelts will be mandatory and the karts will need to meet safety standards.

A loophole in the current system enables operators to classify karts as both scooters and four-wheeled vehicles - since scooters don't require seat belts and cars don't require helmets, tourists have been cruising through traffic without a safety conscious care in the world.

However, the Mario Kart tour craze hasn't been an entirely clean ride. Nintendo itself sued one company earlier this year for copyright infringement (which it lost a month later), while a spate of real-life accidents involving kart drivers ultimately led the Japanese government to enforce more stringent rules.

What do you think of Mario Kart tours? Would you go on one, or would buckling up spoil the fun? Comments at the ready.

[via bbc.co.uk]