April 27, 2007

JAMA Issues Proposal in Support of Strengthened National Road Safety Measures

The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (Mr Fujio Cho, Chairman) has recently released a detailed proposal for the adoption of measures to promote increased road safety in Japan.  This document is available in Japanese only, but its abbreviated title in English is Achieving Greater Road Safety: Proposed Measures for a Drastic Reduction in Road Accident Occurrence.

Although road fatalities in Japan have been on a steady decline for more than a decade and road accidents and injuries have also dropped in recent years, JAMA believes that more concerted action must be taken to promote further reductions in road accident occurrence.  The Japanese government has set a target to reduce the annual number of road fatalities to below 5,000 by 2012.  To achieve this target, progress must be made in respect to vehicles (through the application of advanced vehicle technologies), road users (through safety-awareness campaigns and safe-driving training programs), and the road environment (through infrastructure improvements).

Keenly aware of the need for such progress, JAMA has formulated its proposal in the interest of encouraging the central government to adopt appropriate and effective measures in its new Priority Infrastructure Development Plan for fiscal year 2008 through fiscal 2012.  JAMA’s proposal stresses the need to promote greater road safety with special attention paid to elderly drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, and to implement improvements to road infrastructure and the road environment within local communities.  All the measures it advocates, including stricter enforcement of traffic regulations and the widespread adoption of safe-driving habits by vehicle users, are aimed at reducing road accident occurrence and achieving greater safety overall on Japan’s roads.