April 8, 2014

JAMA Launches Its 2014 Spring Road Safety Campaign

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

In 2013 there were 4,373 road fatalities (38 persons fewer than in 2012), marking the thirteenth consecutive annual decline in those fatalities.  Road accidents and injuries, which both reached historic highs in 2004, fell for the ninth successive year, to 629,021 and 781,494 respectively.  These numbers nevertheless remain excessively high.  The Japanese government has responded by taking measures to reduce the number of annual road fatalities to fewer than 3,000 by 2015, in line with its goal of making Japan’s roads the safest in the world.

Road safety is also an issue of utmost concern for JAMA, which fully supports the government’s road fatalities reduction goal.  JAMA’s own initiatives towards that goal include not only vehicle-based safety-enhancing measures but also road user-directed measures, including its twice-yearly road safety campaigns, in spring and autumn, which JAMA conducts in a sustained push for safer motoring conditions nationwide.

Priority Issues Addressed in JAMA’s 2014 Spring Road Safety Campaign

  • Seatbelt Use in Rear Seats (for Passenger Vehicle Users)

The use of rear seatbelts has been compulsory in Japan since June 2008. However, seatbelt use by rear-seat passengers in passenger vehicles driving on regular roads (i.e., other than expressways) was tracked in 2013 at only 35.1%, far lower than the rates of seatbelt use by drivers (98.0%) and front passengers (93.9%).  JAMA’s spring road safety campaign will therefore strongly promote rear seatbelt use, particularly since the accident fatality rate of unbelted backseat passengers is more than four times greater than that of backseat passengers who have buckled up.

  • Proper Wearing of Helmets (for Motorcycle Riders)

Of the 760 persons who died in Japan in 2013 while riding a motorcycle, 45.5% suffered head injuries, even though 94.9% of the riders were wearing their helmets.  However, a common occurrence for 32.3% of the victims who were wearing their helmets was the sudden loss of their helmets on collision impact.  With the primary reason behind helmet loss being the incorrect fastening or non-fastening of helmet chinstraps, JAMA’s spring road safety campaign will urgently appeal to motorcycle and moped riders to always fasten their helmets properly before starting off.

Summary Profile of JAMA’s 2014 Spring Road Safety Campaign

  • Campaign period: April 6 (Sunday)-May 6 (Tuesday), 2014


  • Focal issues:

-For passenger vehicle users, promotion of the use of rear seatbelts, whose use is low compared to the use of front seatbelts.
-For motorcycle riders, promotion of the proper fastening of helmets to prevent helmet loss on impact (a significant factor in motorcycle fatalities) in the event of a collision. 

  • Slogans:

-For passenger vehicle occupants (drivers and passengers):
Rear seats also have belts.”
-For motorcycle riders:
“Fasten your helmet chinstrap.”

  • Communication modalities:

An information video produced for the campaign to promote the use of rear seatbelts in passenger vehicles (featuring visuals from crash tests conducted by the Japan Automobile Federation) and a video conveying the message to “fasten your helmet chinstrap” will be aired through the following channels for the duration of the campaign:
- Giant outdoor display boards (39 nationwide) installed on the roadside at locations where traffic volume is particularly heavy.
- Information display screens installed in about 100 service areas located on the East, Central and West Japan Expressway routes.
- A campaign Web site, at http://campaign.jama.or.jp/, to encourage wider viewing of the information video promoting rear seatbelt use.  The site will also feature a road traffic safety quiz offering chances to win prizes.