Study finds road safety campaigns do cut crash deaths

A team of Japanese researchers have analysed more than 70 years of road death numbers and found that road safety campaigns have had a significant effect in reducing the number of people killed on the roads.

The researchers at the University of Tsukuba applied mathematical modelling to data spanning 1949 to 2019 to examine the numbers’ association with the months that Japan’s annual road safety campaigns take place. It found these campaigns did reduce road deaths by 2.5% in those months.

The findings were published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health and reported in phys.org.

“Bias has been a lingering problem when examining the outcomes of road safety campaign studies,” University of Tsukuba Professor Masao Ichikawa, who conceived the study and served as its senior author, told Phys.org. “This is because of potential confounding factors, such as concurrent events, other public policies for road safety, and temporal changes in population and infrastructure. We aimed to use mathematical modeling to account for those factors and to gain a clearer picture of the outcomes.”

The report explains Professor Ichikawa’s team made use of seven decades of data, containing the years of 68 National Traffic Safety Campaigns spanning 10 days each. Japan’s campaigns, organised by government and industry, are conducted every spring (April, May, or June) and autumn (September or October). They include interventions such as stronger enforcement of traffic laws, warnings in media, and volunteer advocates to disseminate education.

(Picture – Yay Images)

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