April 6, 2010

Launch of JAMA’s 2010 Spring Road Safety Campaign

The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc. (JAMA) is pleased to announce that its annual spring road safety campaign will be conducted this year from April 6 through May 5. The campaign’s launch date intentionally coincides with that of the Japanese government’s nationwide traffic safety campaign (April 6-15, 2010) carried out by the National Police Agency.

In 2009 road fatalities in Japan totalled 4,914, marking the ninth consecutive annual decline and dropping below 5,000 for the first time since 1952, as well as representing less than one-third the peak total of 16,765 road fatalities recorded in 1970. Road accidents and road injuries also declined, for the fifth consecutive year, to 736,688 and 910,115 respectively. Nevertheless, the loss or disruption of so many lives as a result of road accidents in Japan remains a matter of urgent concern to the government and public at large.

Road safety is also a critical issue for JAMA, which fully supports the Japanese government’s goal of reducing annual road fatalities to fewer than 2,500 by 2018. JAMA’s own initiatives towards that goal include not only vehicle-based measures, such as expanding the installation rates of onboard safety equipment and enhancing vehicle structural safety, but also road user-directed measures, such as public awareness-raising activities and hands-on safe-driving programs. Such measures include its annual road safety campaign, which JAMA conducts in both spring and autumn and which is aimed at all types of road users: drivers, motorcycle riders, passengers, and pedestrians.

Priority Issues Addressed by JAMA’s 2010 Spring Road Safety Campaign

  • For Passenger Vehicle Users: Seatbelt Use in Rear Seats
    The use of rear seatbelts became compulsory in Japan in June 2008. However, seatbelt use by rear-seat passengers in cars driving on regular roads (as opposed to expressways) remains, at 33.5%, far lower than the rates of seatbelt use by drivers (96.6%) and front passengers (90.8%). JAMA’s spring campaign will therefore strongly promote rear seatbelt use, particularly since the accident fatality rate of unbelted backeat passengers is about four times greater than that of backseat passengers who have buckled up.
  • For Motorcycle Riders: Proper Wearing of Helmets
    A total of 886 people died in Japan in 2009 while riding a motorcycle, of which 359 fatalities occurred on mopeds (50cc and under) and 527 on motorcycles (over 50cc). For 33% (117 persons) of the moped fatalities and for 28% (149 persons) of the motorcycle fatalities, a common occurrence was the loss of their helmets on collision impact. With the primary reason behind helmet loss being the improper fastening or non-fastening of helmet chinstraps, JAMA’s spring road safety campaign will therefore urgently appeal to motorcycle and moped riders to always wear their helmets properly fastened.