Delays on a train are annoying but inevitable, since with such a massive transit system in Japan, not everything is going to work 100% of the time. No one wants to see the words “train delay” on the information screen at the station, but even more so, no one wants to see the reason for the delays attributed to “human accidents,” the catch-all term Japan uses when people are found on the tracks while the trains are running.
An unfortunately common station for such accidents is implementing a number of changes in order to curb the rise of these incidents. It’s not just barriers and fences, prevention can start with you.
Located in the Katsushika Ward of Tokyo, Shin-Koiwa Station has been having problems with accidents involving people and suicides for a few years now. As of May 20, there have already been four incidents this year. Most people would agree that is four too many and something should be done about it, but a request for platform doors back in July 2012 still hasn’t been fulfilled. With the most recent incident occurring on May 6, the station has made a few changes to the decor in order to help prevent the accidents.
Already in place are sections of the platform illuminated by blue lighting. There are even skylight covers tinted blue so that the sun shining through has a calming color. Research has shown that these blue lights can help reduce suicide rates, but the reason why is not conclusive. Some believe the odd lighting makes people think twice about doing something illegal as that area might be under more scrutiny. It also might help that the color associated with the police is blue. This trick has been implemented before in other stations, but unfortunately, it isn’t enough at Shin-Koiwa.
The platform also plays music in an attempt to calm potential jumpers. This strategy has been in place since at least 2011.
Recently, large video screens have been installed at the station which display scenes of magnificent animals and beautiful nature.
Large posters have also been put up which explain what happens when someone pushes the emergency stop button and ask commuters to practice pushing a replica of one. When someone is on the tracks, even a single second can make a huge difference.
These changes might seem like a little much, but with so many incidents occurring recently, it seems like Shin-Koiwa Station is willing to give any proposed solution a try.
Thankfully, platform doors are finally coming soon to Shin-Koiwa Station. On March 24 of this year, JR East announced plans to install the devices, making Shin-Koiwa the first station on the Sobu Line to have these preventative measures in place. Hopefully when these doors are implemented, the number of incidents will drop. In the meantime, any preventative measures are worth it if it will save even one life.
Source: Naver Matome
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