ASSE Pleased with Removal of Car Advertisement

July 20, 2005

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) said it is pleased that Nissan Motor Company recently ceased running a car commercial that focused on speeding and reckless driving.

In his July 12 letter to Nissan requesting the ad be pulled, ASSE President Jack Dobson wrote, “the 94-year-old ASSE respectfully requests that you cease running a television ad which wrongly glamorizes speed in many ways including showing a car running through a railroad crossing – with the train just about to pass and the crossing arms down.”

Nissan contacted ASSE July 15 and said, “This particular commercial was pulled from rotation… and will no longer be run on TV or on the company’s public web site.”

“We are pleased they pulled this commercial,” Dobson said.

Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of accidental death in the U.S. with 42,800 people dying in 2004 on the roads and hundreds of thousands more being injured. Also, transportation crashes are the number one cause of on-the-job deaths annually. Speeding is one of the most prevalent factors contributing to traffic crashes according to a recent Department of Transportation technical report.

The letter to Nissan noted that not only are thousands of lives lost to car crashes, but we all pay. Not only from sorrow and pain, but also on average every U.S. citizen pays $820 per year from infrastructure repair as a result of crashes, healthcare, emergency personnel, lost time and missed appointments, traffic tie-ups and more equaling about $230.6 billion per year.

“Your ad’s target demographics (males aged 15-24) makes up the largest segment of traffic crash fatalities,” Dobson continued. “Every month, about 1,000 fatalities are caused by speeding-related motor vehicle crashes and your ad condones this behavior.”

Dobson noted that ASSE’s concern was not about the product, but the marketing. “We do not believe Nissan should be marketing speeding and reckless driving when too many people are dying on the roads, often the victims of a reckless driver.”

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