Social | Community
Activities related to road safety

  • Facebook
  • tumblr

There were estimated 1.19 million road traffic deaths in 2021, a slight decrease from the number reported in 2018. Yet with more than 2 deaths occurring per minute and over 3,200 per day, road traffic accidents remain the leading killer of children and people aged 5–29 years. There is a call for contributions to private sectors to achieve Target 3.6 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (halve the number of global road traffic fatalities and injuries). Being aware that road safety remains a common issue globally*1, the Bridgestone Group understands that road safety is an integral part of the mobility system design. This is an area where the Group can leverage its strengths and make the greatest contribution to road safety.

Since proper tire maintenance is important for safer transportation, the Group conducts safety awareness activities such as tire-safety inspections for customers as well as other community-oriented activities as part of its Bridgestone E8 Commitment to promote “Ease.” Also, to promote “Empowerment” the Group is educating the next generation on road safety and its importance in improving quality of life in local communities. The Group is also enhancing road safety education by encouraging employees to raise safety awareness throughout the value chain, thereby contributing to road safety not only through its products and services, but also through its daily work.

In order to generate more synergies from these efforts, the Group accelerated them as one global program (the Bridgestone Road Safety Program: BRSP) in 2023. The Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP), an international non-profit organisation specializing in road safety, has helped the Group establish the BRSP and create the playbook, a practical guide for the Group’s employees, and the Group is continuing to strengthen that partnership. In 2023, with the cooperation of GRSP, the Group focused on several road safety activities, set indicators, and began a trial to assess the Impact of these activities. The Group also participated in the Asia Pacific Regional Road Safety Seminar co-hosted by GRSP and the Asian Development Bank in the Philippines with key stakeholders to discuss further promotion of road safety. During the event, the Group shared its journey of enhancing road safety actions, partnerships, and the case study of the initiative for the young generation implemented by Thai Bridgestone Co., Ltd. For details, please refer Bridgestone Global Road Safety Project (Thailand) case below.

Bridgestone Road Safety Program Playbook

In conjunction with BRSP, in July 2022 Bridgestone Corporation announced that it would donate 1.0 million USD (approximately 129 million JPY) to the United Nations Road Safety Fund (UNRSF) over the four-year period from 2022 to 2025. Bridgestone will respond to the growing expectations of the global community for road safety by using its partnership with UNRSF to enhance its global road safety activities.

In 2023, 105 initiatives*2 related to road safety were implemented in 34 countries/regions, including 67 initiatives with external partners,*3 involving 2,195 employee volunteers,*4 and reaching 103,428 people*5 from the community.

  1. Source: “Global status report on road safety 2023,” World Health Organization
  2. Counting of “initiatives” varies by country or region.
  3. Counting of “partners” varies by country or region.
  4. The number of volunteers is the total number, including estimates for some activities.
  5. The number of people who directly benefited from the Group’s activities, which varies by country and region and only includes those activities for which the Group has confirmed the status.

“Project Sarthi” focuses on safety and opportunity (India)

The vital trucking industry in India suffers from a near 25% shortage of drivers. Even more problematic from a road safety perspective is a study that shows that 92% of heavy motor vehicle (HMV) drivers have no formal training. The majority of drivers themselves admit to feeling unsafe on the job and dissatisfied with their profession. Bridgestone India (BSID) identified these issues as critical to the goals of creating safer mobility and safer roads and has responded by partnering with state-of-the-art driver training facilities in various states of India. Dubbed “Project Sarthi” (“sarthi” meaning “the one who drives” in Hindi), the aim is to develop HMV skills and opportunities, including for unemployed youth from socio-economically weaker sections of society. The program provides 30 days free residential driving training – including not only professional driving skill development, but also soft skills for well-being and responsible road behaviors. BSID teammate volunteers also provide training on tire maintenance, safety, and financial literacy, etc. Drivers who complete the training receive joint certification from the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSFQ) and BSID with placement assistance.

Output ・ 1,775 commercial drivers’ skill upgrade and certification
・ 864 HMV drivers have undergone short-term refresher training
Impact ・ 66% of trainees found employment with OEMs
・ 92% of drivers trained want to continue HMV driving as their profession

Bicycle Safety Workshop (Japan)

Since 2017, Bridgestone Cycle Co., Ltd., (BSC) in collaboration with the local authorities and police departments, has been conducting bicycle safety workshop throughout Japan. The objective is to promote safe cycling practices for people of all ages, ranging from preschoolers to senior citizens, by tailoring the workshops to their respective life stages.

At schools in Kurume City, BSC conducted Workshops on bicycle rules and proper helmet usage.

(Summary of 2023 results)

Output ・ 75 workshops held. 4,000+ participated
Impact ・ Among the workshops held at schools where impact assessments were conducted, 100% of teachers provided positive feedback on the students' increased awareness
・ 60% teachers reported positive feedback on the students' changed behavior

Bridgestone Global Road Safety Project (Thailand)

In cooperation with the AIP Foundation*1, the Thailand Bridgestone Global Road Safety Program was launched in 2021, starting with four secondary schools situated in Chiang Rai, Khon Kaen, Phuket and Nakhon Sawan. In 2022-2023, the program expanded to more schools in Chiang Mai, Ubon Ratchathani, Surat Thani and Chon Buri as the second phase. The four core objectives of the program are:

  1. Improve road safety knowledge and behavior among students and teachers
  2. Cultivate Bridgestone Youth Champions for Road Safety in each school included in the program, to inspire leadership and to have them take ownership in raising road safety awareness among their peers
  3. Conduct school zone assessments and promote infrastructure modifications to improve road safety for students, parents and teachers.
  4. Empower Bridgestone employees to become road safety advocates to engage select communities.

The second phase of the program benefited 242 students and teachers, as well as 10,977 parents and community members.

Output ・ School signs and marking installed
・ Lines & signs and the intersection quality improved
Impact ・iRAP Star Rating for Schools*2 improved 2 stars to 3 stars
・The score of Road use risk management test, which is the evaluation system of the school zone safety, improved from 13.31 to 19.88
  1. A non-profit organization that works to improve road safety, primly vulnerable communities across Asia and Africa.
  2. Star Ratings for Schools is the systematic and evidence-based tool for measuring, managing and communicating the risk children are exposed to on school journeys provided by the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP).

Thanarak Kanchanakhanthakul, Leader of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility at Thai Bridgestone Co., Ltd.

Youth empowerment and integrating road safety in extracurricular activities is key to the success of our project, which also supports the identification of Youth Champions who become leaders in their communities and engages them in road safety-oriented community service activities.

Green Camps teach “Sicurezza” to Italian youth (Italy)

Message from our road safety partner, the Italian Red Cross

In Italy, total road fatalities increased by an alarming 24.7% from the first half of 2021 to the first half of 2022 — and 15 to 29-year-olds tragically make up the biggest proportion of these victims. Bridgestone’s multi-faceted program — “Sicurezza [security] on the road” — aims to tackle the key challenge of teaching young people knowledge and respect for the rules of the road. The program’s first initiative – CRI Green Camps — ran from July to September 2023 targeting 8 to 17-year-olds. Working in partnership with the CRI (Italian Red Cross) and with the support of 40 teammate volunteers from the Bridgestone Technical Centre Europe (TCE) in Rome, the Bari Plant and BSSOR (Bridgestone EMEA south region), the camps provided full-day education workshops in eight locations across Italy — Lombardia, Lazio, Puglia, Campania, Molise, Sicilia, Trentino Alto Adige, and Toscana — reaching 240 students. The summer camps, lasting up to 7 days, featured engaging, educational activities with the focus on road safety but also highlighting sustainability initiatives. The impact on the participants was significant with one observing: “Thanks to this Green Camp, when I get my license, certainly I’ll be much more careful in how I control the vehicle, its condition, and the tires.” Following the camps, from October 2023 onwards, the project continued with road safety courses reaching some 5,000 secondary school students – led by CRI volunteers with Bridgestone employees from Milan, Rome and the Bari Plant providing expertise on mobility and safety.

Output ・ 240 “future drivers” in 8 locations were outreached in summer camps across Italy.
・ Over 5,000 secondary school students learned about road safety.
Impact ・Fostering Bridgestone team pride and relationship with CRI

Edoardo Italia, VP Italian Red Cross and Italian Representative of the Red Cross’s Young Volunteers

The partnership with Bridgestone will allow us to reach more and more people. The Toolkit for Road Safety drawn up with the technical support of Bridgestone will help to expand the knowledge of volunteers on methodologies for road safety education. This partnership makes us more prepared to face future road safety challenges.

Think Before You Drive (Central and South America)

Think Before You Drive, a safe-driving awareness program launched by Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) in 2005, aims to instill in drivers the importance of traffic safety through educational programs and materials. The program conveys the importance of following the basic rules essential for safe driving, such as always wearing a seatbelt and keeping tires aligned and balanced.

BSAM has been partnering with universities and government agencies to implement this program for kids, students, and drivers to reduce traffic accidents and dangerous driving. Since 2015, these materials have reached nearly 74,000 students and families in Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia and Ecuador.

Think Before You Drive – Kids is geared to children 6 and 12 years old with the aim of educating them through road safety tips and inspiring an awareness of the behavior required to travel safely on the roads. The online program includes informative video clips, learning activities and interactive games, including content that gives them an early insight into the importance of tire safety and maintenance. BSAM will launch the program in Brazil and Argentina in 2024.

Output ・ 74,000 students and families in Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Ecuador materials reached to since 2015
・ 3,000+ students in 7 schools learned in 2022 and 2023 through “Think Before You Drive – Kids”
Impact ・100% employee volunteers felt confident in the level of road safety education delivered to children.

Maintaining Safe Roads (Liberia)

Firestone Natural Rubber, LLC invested $1.2M to maintain over 700 miles of roads and bridges in Liberia in 2023. The Road Maintenance project ensures that all people in the community have access to safe roads and bridges.

Since the collapse of the Du Bridge in Harbel, Liberia in 2017, Firestone Natural Rubber has partnered with the Government of Liberia to repair this piece of critical infrastructure and contribute to other road safety projects. Maintaining roads for people living in Liberia benefits people of all ages and connects them to employment, medical care, and education, including an estimated 7,000 students attending local schools.

Road safety workshop for high school students (Australia and New Zealand)

Partnered with RYDA, which is an initiative that provides traffic safety education, the Group hosted road safety workshops for young drivers in schools in Australia and New Zealand. In 2023, a total of 48,564 students from 582 schools participated in 417 RYDA workshop days held in Australia and New Zealand. It promoted good habits and motivated the students to take responsible action as drivers and passengers to stay safe on roads.

Message from the CEO of RYDA

Terry Birss
CEO & Managing Director
Road Safety Education Limited - provider of the RYDA program

We all have a role to play in road safety in working toward the common goal of saving lives and reducing injuries on our roads. RYDA has reached more than 700,000 students since its inception 21 years ago with the aim of empowering and educating the next generation of road users. Bridgestone's ongoing support helps us sustain the delivery of our life-saving messages to schools who increasingly rely on RYDA and we’re thrilled to have a partner in Bridgestone that places the same significance on road safety education as we do, not only in Australia & New Zealand, but on a global level.

Bridge to Knowledge campaign (Vietnam)

The Group is making community safety more sustainable with its services, products and initiatives. For example, during Vietnam’s rainy seasons, many of the country’s worn-out wooden bridges pose significant safety challenges for people commuting to work and school. To help, the Bridge to Knowledge campaign, led by Bridgestone Tire Sales Vietnam LLC, pledged to build 20 bridges across flood-prone Vietnam by 2030, and to maintain the bridges for 10 years.

The Group built two bridges in Vietnam in 2023, and as of the end of 2023, had completed a total of ten bridges. These new bridges serve over 1,000 people in the community. The infrastructure provides peace of mind and safe access to educational facilities and amenities.

Suoi Da Bridge
Truong Tho Bridge

Logistic team delivers training to drive road safety awareness (Vietnam)

In 2023, our technical team in Vietnam provided onsite training on road safety and tire safety knowledge to our fleet customer Yusen Logistics and other OEM dealers. Road safety stickers were also distributed to further encourage road safety practices.

Safe driving and traffic rules (Thailand)

Thai Bridgestone Co., Ltd. continued to support the Thailand’s Department of Land Transportation in Saraburi province by providing tire maintenance, tire products, tire safety and even retread knowledge during their training for the Service Van, Bus and Truck Driving License test. Participants who pass the training series and tests are awarded their driving license at the end of the course. 104 participants benefited from this program in 2023.

Traffic-safety programs (China)

To increase road safety awareness and knowledge among children, Bridgestone China participated in road safety education in a rural school program organized by the China Road Safety Association and the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. The program distributed road safety materials and also provided road safety education related to snow tires. 6,200 students from three provinces – Heilongjiang Province (Harbin City), Guizhou Province and Sichuan Province – benefited from this program.

Supporting road safety for visually impaired people (Korea)

Local statistics based on a 2020 survey showed that 58.8% of visually impaired people were not able to visit a hospital when they needed to. The death rate for the visually impaired and the blind due to road accidents is a lot higher than for those without impairment. In engaging the Korea Blind Union, Bridgestone Tire Sales Korea, Ltd. (BSTK) came to realize the mobility challenges the visually impaired were facing, including lack of infrastructure such as tactile paving, safe mobility tools to facilitate movement, and transportation. The difficulty in venturing out led to many visually impaired people fearing for their safety and ending up staying home, further disconnecting them socially. BSTK established a program in 2022 to provide audible pedestrian signal remote control devices to 500 people, and also distributed 1,500 taxi coupons and vouchers with funding provided in collaboration with the Korean government. BSTK also coordinated with the local Korea Blind Union to provide staff with training from the Carroll Center, a premier vision rehabilitation center well known for providing help to the visually impaired, to facilitate their ability to live independently. All these efforts contribute to the recipients’ safer mobility and peace of mind. In 2023, the program was further expanded to provide the visually impaired with visual localization and mapping devices (called SK devices), that aid in mobility.

Traffic safety education by employees (Poland)

In Poznan, Poland, employee volunteers have been involved in traffic safety education since 2008. Interactive traffic safety lessons are conducted with the Bridgestone Test Dummy characters. To date, 520 workshops have been delivered to over 38,000 students in more than 590 schools in and around Poznan.

Cultire seminar on road safety (Italy)

Bridgestone EMEA Technology Center employees created the Cultire program (seminars) to inform young generations in high school about road safety, leveraging the competencies of its Technology Center. These road safety seminars held by the Technology Center volunteers have a special focus on tires, and target increased awareness of tire importance for road safety. These seminars, which were started in 2017, have involved about 450 high school students and 300 young unemployed people attending Vocational Master training. In 2023, three sessions were held, involving six volunteers, and reaching 30 students.

Become a Road Safety Hero (UK and Ireland)

Bridgestone North Region organized an innovative road safety campaign based on a postcard demonstrating to motorists the size of the contact patch that connects their car to the road. The postcard also outlined a simple three-point check for tread depth, pressure and condition, and encouraged motorists to check their tires regularly. The cards were distributed at a number of tire check events in the UK and Ireland. The locations included Bridgestone premises, motorway service outlets and car enthusiast events. The objective at these events was to have people check their tires and to also encourage them to check their family’s and friends’ cars and to pass on the tire check message and knowledge provided on the card. By distributing the card and showing others how to check tires, you became “a Bridgestone Road Safety Hero.” The card and tire safety message was also distributed and promoted digitally with 3,000 cards distributed, reaching 70,000 people during the campaign, which coincided with UK and Ireland's national tire safety promotion. There were 15 staff members directly involved in the activities across the region.

Road Safety Day (Germany)

A road safety event was held in cooperation with the NETTO retail chain. The team members checked tread depth, adjusted tire pressure and informed customers about the right tire condition. This event focused on raising awareness of the importance of keeping tires in good condition. 48 cars were checked and 64 end users reached through the program. 6 teammates volunteered in setting up the booth and checking tires.

Road Safety Education: It’s not a game! (Poland)

The Shared Services Centre in Poznan cooperates with Poznan’s High School of Economics, supporting young professionals in their development. In 2023, we expanded our activities and organized a road safety event for 160 students aged 17-18 called “It’s not a game!” The event featured four stations: one for learning about first aid in case of a road accident, another for learning about what impact tires have on safety, another for experiencing rollover in a simulator, and one for experiencing visual disturbances when wearing alcohol goggles. Ten volunteers created an impactful, engaging event, showing young people that what they know from computer games differs from real life.

Road Safety Day (Hungary)

We dedicated Saturday, September 30, as Bridgestone Road Safety (RS) Day in Tatabanya, Hungary. The event was promoted through Facebook and local newspaper advertisements, emphasizing the road safety message. On the RS Day, in the parking lot of a local shopping mall we welcomed local families with several road safety theme stations, such as a mini traffic circuit for children with electronic minicars, drunken goggles, and free tire checks for the adults with cars. Approx. 350 visitors attended, with 25 BSHM volunteers taking part.

Eyes on the Road campaign (Middle East Africa)

Helping professional drivers operate safely is also a priority of the Group. Since 2022, Eyes on the Road Route to Ramadan has been held with the aim of raising awareness about health and road safety while providing more than 2,000 truck drivers with the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing and joyful break after their period of fasting. This one-month campaign helps truck drivers to understand the importance of physical fitness, ergonomics, nutrition, and eye health. Specialists are also invited to conduct some health checks and give advice. The event, which is held simultaneously in UAE, Saudi Arabia and Morocco, is a time of gathering and sharing. By offering such experience to truck drivers, we aim to acknowledge and encourage their daily effort.

Tire Tutorials with Wheel Well (South Africa)

In 2023, Bridgestone South Africa partnered with Wheel Well to elevate road safety, prioritizing students. In August, our dedicated volunteers conducted an impactful session at Kaalfontein Secondary School, enlightening 400 students on the significance of vehicle, road, and tire safety. Subsequently, in October, Bridgestone extended its commitment to safety education by engaging with Curro Academy Clayville and Eldridge Primary School, collectively reaching 268 students. This collaborative initiative underscores our commitment to fostering a culture of safety awareness among the younger generation.

Road Safety Education and Awareness in government schools by BSID volunteers (India)

A volunteer-driven Road Safety Awareness Program organized by Bridgestone India Private Ltd. in PCMC schools, aims to educate young minds about the importance of road safety and can help create a safer and more responsible future generation of road users. In 2023, the program covered 15 schools across India and educated 2,286 students with a total of 60 sessions. 20 BSID employee volunteers dedicated a total of 167 hours to the program.

Road safety intervention with blind persons across India

In its first phase, this project provides the necessary mobility training and information to 1,000 visually impaired community members in five selected regions of the country. We aim for the participants to become confident in walking and traveling, hence being able to navigate independently after this intervention. A manual on Road Safety & Navigation has been developed under this program for the holistic understanding of road safety and safer mobility.

The project first conducted an overall training for trainers and assigned suitable persons to the five regions. Then, depending on the needs of the participants, mobility training with a white cane was organized for two weeks to one month. Throughout the project, white canes were distributed to 1,000 visually impaired people, and smartphones with apps to help them get around were distributed to 50 visually impaired girls.

Road Education Circuit (PSM Plant, Spain)

On the Road Education Circuit in which was organised in Torrelavega, Spain on May 4 and 5, 200 students from the local schools learned the rules of traffic and road safety as pedestrians and cyclists. They received training in a workshop and practical classes with tricycles on a circuit where they must respect the different signs.

Safe mobility for truck drivers (India)

To help ensure safe mobility on the road and reduce the number of traffic accidents, Bridgestone India Private Ltd. focused on developing truck driving skills and providing a vision correction program for truckers. The Group implemented both initiatives with the help of its employee volunteers. To date, 450 youths have been trained as skilled commercial drivers, 11,000 truckers have undergone vision check-ups and treatment, with 2,520 pairs of glasses distributed to truckers for vision correction. Additionally, the program provided counseling sessions focused on adopting healthier lifestyles. In 2022, 256 more truckers were trained and 3,137 truckers underwent vision check-ups and treatment.

Relevant Information