CSR History Striving for everyone's safety Forty years of safety promotion activities

Honda created the Driving Safety Promotion Center in 1970 to promote safe driving throughout Japan as part of its social responsibility as an automaker. In the 40 years since, the company has pursued a range of activities in accordance with our action policies of passing on safety education from person to person and offering participatory, hands-on education.

1964: The motorcycle police squadron members started training.
1967: The Safety Driving Training Center opened in Suzuka as the roots of Honda's safety education, such as assisting in the drive training of the motorcycle police squadron members.

1970s

1970: The Driving Safety Promotion Center is created.
1971: Honda begins training driving safety promotion instructors to give advice at dealerships.
1972: The Motorcycle Safe Driving Promotion Committee is formed as a partnership between government and industry. Use of the “beginning rider” mark becomes mandatory.
1973: The Traffic Education Center (Fukuoka) opens.
1974: The International Association of Traffic and Safety Sciences is founded.
1978: The Honda Motorcyclist School (HSM) is launched.

Japan's embrace of motorization in earnest drove traffic fatalities to an all-time high of 16,765 in 1970. It was that same year, during which the issue of automobile safety attracted intense interest, that Honda created the Driving Safety Promotion Center. Michihiro Nishida (who later become the Center's first Chief Officer) dedicated himself to creating the facility, making such a strong case for its establishment to then-president Soichiro Honda and vice president Takeo Fujisawa that it was created with remarkable speed just 20 days later. Half a year later, Honda declared its intentions in the area of safety, including the training of the world's first driving safety promotion instructors, and by the end of 1972, the number of Center-certified instructors had surpassed 8,000, and 60,000 customers had attended driving safety classes.

Honda also created Traffic Education Centers in a unique effort to anchor an approach to education that lets students experience hazards safely.

In 1974, Honda created the International Association of Traffic and Safety Sciences with the purpose of making a broad contribution to traffic and safety through research into traffic issues. The new organization conducted research into motorcycle gangs, which had become a social problem at the time.

1980s

1982: Honda holds a “Safety Improvement” campaign (an all-Honda project).
1982: Honda holds the “Good Driving” campaign.
1984: The number of drivers license holders exceeds 50 million.
1985: The Safety Driving Center opens in Singapore.
1986: Use of helmets by all motorcycle and 50cc & less model riders and of seatbelts by automobile drivers becomes mandatory.
1989: The Traffic Accident State of Emergency Declaration is issued.

50cc & less model riding education taught by a female training instructor

During the 1980s, the proliferation of motorcycle gangs and increasingly serious traffic accidents combined with widespread use of 50cc & less model to contribute to rapid growth in the number of motorcycle accident fatalities. Awareness of safety increased dramatically on the part of both the government and private sectors, leading to extensive revision of the Road Traffic Act and the “Three No's” campaign, which sought to prevent high-school students from driving or purchasing motorcycles or automobiles or holding drivers licenses. During the 1970s, Honda embarked on a series of awareness-raising activities based on its belief that motorcycles should not be kept away from youth, but rather that there was a need for safety education to allow youth to use transportation in a healthy manner. In 1982, the company held the “Safety Improvement” campaign and launched a major “Good Driving” campaign with newspaper ads and other publicity. Honda also actively pursued practical, hands-on education, for example by strengthening its Honda Motorcyclist School (HMS) program for beginning motorcycle drivers, which was originally launched in 1978, as the driving public expanded to include women and other groups. Honda's concept of allowing students to experience hazards safely served as the starting point for educational programs such as the HMS. However, faced with the limitations on education using actual vehicles, the company intensified research efforts such as the development of a simulator during the second half of the 1980s and announced the Honda Riding Simulator in 1991.

Elsewhere, Honda opened Traffic Education Centers at overseas motorcycle facilities during the 1980s in response to Soichiro Honda's 1972 declaration that safety efforts should be expanded to include overseas markets.

1990s

1991: The Honda Riding Simulator is announced, and then sold in 1996.
1991: The Honda Driving School (HDS) opens.
1991: A new drivers license restricted to vehicles with automatic transmissions is created.
1994: Honda begins training Japan's first safety coordinators (at automobile dealerships).
1995: It becomes possible to undergo training for a large-motorcycle license at designated driving schools.
1995: The Ayatorii program for elementary school students is launched.
1998: Honda begins training riding advisors (at motorcycle dealerships).

The Honda Driving School (HDS)

During the 1990s, the number of motorcycle accident fatalities began to fall, and automobile traffic accidents became a social problem, inspiring Honda to begin pursuing education in safe driving techniques for automobile drivers in response. In addition to creating the Honda Driving School (HDS) in 1991, the company began training safety coordinators*1 at automobile dealerships in 1994 in order to pass on safety to more customers. The initiative was subsequently expanded to motorcycle dealerships, which began training riding advisors*1 in 1998. In this way, Honda enhanced its system for offering safety advice to customers through such means as safety seminars (for automobiles) and sport riding schools (for motorcycles). The company also shifted the focus to safety education for pedestrians by developing the Ayatorii*2 educational program for third- and fourth-grade elementary school students in 1995. Honda has continued to develop other educational programs for use in schools.
*1 An in-house certification offered to sales and service staff who have completed specialized training at a Traffic Education Center so that they can explain safe driving techniques and provide related information to customers.
*2 A name derived from the program's goal of explaining safety in a way that students can easily understand.

2000s

2000: The speed limit for light automobiles and electric motorcycles on Japan's expressways is raised to 100 km/h.
2004: Honda launches the Ayatorii Choju.
2005: Passengers are allowed on motorcycles on Japan's expressways.
2008: Honda launches Regional Branches.
2009: The Honda Bicycle Simulator is announced.
2010: Honda launches Doga KYT Risk Prediction Training.

Traffic safety education using the Ayatorii Hiyoko for toddlers by local traffic instructors

As interest in accidents involving the elderly and bicycle users increased during the 2000s, Honda pursued activities targeting not only drivers, but also all traffic participants, including lifelong education for people of all ages, from children to the elderly. The company also expanded the scope of its activities to bring safety to more people by creating Regional Branches in five locations around Japan. In addition to training safety education trainers in each region, the new organizations began working to develop a basis for offering traffic safety education in partnership with local communities while working with local government, police, and other entities. Augmenting these locally grounded activities, Honda also developed new programs in response to the needs of the times, including efforts to prevent accidents involving the elderly and cyclists.

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