Application of Road Safety Audits in Japan —Organizational Culture and Absorptive Capacity Perspectives

Masahiro Nishimura

Abstract


Road safety audits (RSAs) have been applied in many developing and developed countries as a way to enhance the safety of road infrastructure since they were first introduced in the late 1980s in the United Kingdom. RSAs have proven to be an effective tool to enhance the design of both new and existing roads from an overall safety perspective. In the early 2000s, the Government of Japan (GOJ) reviewed RSAs as well as new public management (NPM) (both viewed as good practices in the United Kingdom and other countries) and now promotes RSAs in developing countries through its bilateral and multilateral official development assistance. However, although NPM has been applied within Japan, RSAs have not been applied on Japan’s domestic road projects. This article reviews factors that may explain why the GOJ has not applied RSAs from the organizational culture perspective of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT), which administers the Japanese road transport subsector. The article also reviews an RSA pilot project started in 2013 in Chiba Prefecture, Japan and a nation-wide pilot program started in 2015. Factors that may influence how the GOJ can apply RSAs successfully are discussed in line with the MLIT’s absorptive capacity.


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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jss.v3i1.10535

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