September 16, 2010

Overview of JAMA's 2010 Autumn Road Safety Campaign

The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association will be conducting its annual Autumn Road Safety Campaign from September 21 through October 31 this year. The launch of this initiative coincides with that of the Japanese government’s own nationwide Autumn Traffic Safety Campaign (September 21-30) conducted by the National Police Agency.

In 2009 there were 4,914 road fatalities in Japan, marking the ninth consecutive annual decline in such fatalities and dropping below 5,000 for the first time since 1952. Last year’s road fatality count also represented a more than two-thirds decrease from the highest number (16,765) ever recorded in Japan, in 1970. Road accidents and injuries, which reached historical highs in 2004, also fell, for the fifth successive year. In addition, the number of road injuries continued to fall after dropping below the one-million mark in 2008, for the first time in a decade. These statistics, although encouraging, indicate that road safety in Japan remains a matter of urgent concern.

JAMA fully supports the Japanese government’s goal of reducing annual road fatalities to under 2,500 by 2018. JAMA’s own initiatives in support of this goal include not only vehicle-based safety measures but also road user-directed measures, such as public information activities and hands-on safe-driving programs. JAMA’s public information activities include its semi-annual road safety campaign, aimed at the achievement of greater road safety nationwide.

Priority Issues Addressed by JAMA's 2010 Autumn Road Safety Campaign

  • Seatbelt Use in Rear Seats
    The use of rear seatbelts in passenger vehicles became compulsory in Japan in June 2008. However, the rate of seatbelt use by rear-seat passengers in 2009 stood at only 33.5% on regular roads, compared with a use rate on those same roads of 96.6% and 90.8% for drivers and front passengers, respectively. The campaign will therefore strongly promote rear seatbelt use, particularly since the accident fatality rate of unbelted backseat passengers is about four times higher than that of backseat passengers who have buckled up.
  • Use of Headlights at Dusk
    Fatal road accidents whose victims are senior citizens occur most frequently between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. (17:00-18:00), especially from autumn to year’s end. This indicates a need for greater awareness among drivers that elderly people out walking at dusk often have difficulty in seeing on-road vehicles, and, on the part of the elderly, a need to be more alert to the presence of vehicles on the road. Accordingly, the campaign will urge drivers always to turn on their headlights in early twilight hours.
  • For Motorcycle Riders: Proper Wearing of Helmets
    In 2009 a total of 886 people died in Japan while operating or riding on a motorcycle (of those fatalities, 359 occurred on 50cc-and-under mopeds and 527 on motorcycles). For many of those victims—33% (117 persons) of the moped riders and 28% (149 persons) of the motorcycle riders—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 chin straps, the campaign will therefore strongly promote the proper wearing of motorcycle helmets.

Details of Campaign Implementation

(1) Campaign Duration and Content

Duration September 21 (Tuesday)-October 31 (Sunday), 2010
Official themes • Use of rear seatbelts
• Use of headlights in early twilight hours
• Proper wearing of helmets (for motorcycle riders)
Slogans • “Using rear seatbelts saves lives.”
• “Make early evening headlight use a habit.”
• “Fasten your chin strap properly.”
Targeted audience Drivers, riders, and passengers

The campaign video promoting the use of rear seatbelts was produced with images of crash testing obtained from the Japan Automobile Federation. Throughout the campaign, this video will be shown in two versions: one featuring a supplementary segment promoting the use of headlights at twilight, and the other featuring a supplementary segment promoting the proper wearing of motorcycle helmets.

(2) Viewing Venues and Frequency

JAMA’s campaign video in its two different versions will be shown at the following venues throughout the duration of the campaign. Other campaign-related road-safety promotional materials can be found online (see below).

Viewings of campaign video promoting the use of rear seatbelts, in two different versions:
1. Additional promotion of the use of headlights at dusk;
2. Additional promotion of the proper wearing of motorcycle helmets.
At shopping malls A combined total of 36,800 viewings on jumbo display screens installed at 40 major shopping malls nationwide (visited frequently by families with high percentage of backseat passengers, etc.)
At large-scale electrical appliance stores A combined total of 105,800 viewings on large-screen televisions displayed at 154 major electrical appliance stores nationwide
At driving schools A combined total of 216,000 viewings on large-screen televisions located in the entrance areas of 300 driving schools
Onboard commuter trains Viewings once every 20 minutes on TV monitors onboard Japan Railway Chuo and Keihin Tohoku commuter trains and Seibu-Ikebukuro and Seibu-Shinjuku commuter trains (= among the most heavily- travelled commuter lines)
Onboard taxis Viewings onboard approximately 1,000 taxis in the greater Tokyo region
At highway service areas Viewings on highway-information display screens installed at some 138 service areas operated by the East Nippon, Central Nippon and West Nippon Expressway companies
Availability of various supplementary road-safety promotional materials (campaign viewer-response questionnaire, road accident data analyses, road safety awareness quizzes, etc.) Online on campaign Web site:

JAMA 2010 Rear Seatbelt Promo: “Turn On Your Headlights” Version (30 seconds)
JAMA 2010 Rear Seatbelt Promo: “Wear Your Helmet” Version (30 seconds)