Autumn traffic-safety campaign starts
The Japanese government’s autumn nationwide traffic-safety campaign kicked off on Saturday. The traffic safety campaign, which runs until Sept 30, is held twice a year—in spring and autumn.
Actor Shunsuke Kazama was on hand at an event in Roppongi Hills to launch the campaign which promotes safe driving. The autumn campaign is focusing on promoting greater safety awareness among elderly drivers and children on bicycles.
According to the National Police Agency (NPA), the number of traffic fatalities for the first half of the year to June 30 reached 2,005, which was 71 more than for the first six months of 2012. By prefecture, the most fatalities were Shizuoka (88), followed by Hokkaido (66) and Tochigi (48).
The NPA also said that there were more than 140,000 bicycle accidents in 2012, which constituted about 20% of the total number of traffic accidents. Most involved injuries, and over half were caused by traffic violations, such as failing to look both ways before crossing an intersection
A special panel set up by the NPA earlier this year recommended that bicycle riders who break traffic laws and cause accidents be made to attend classes on safety. It also said that elderly people should be encouraged to attend bicycle safety classes.