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Smartphone-distracted boy dies after being hit by train in Shizuoka

19 Comments

A 14-year-old boy died last Thursday after being stuck between a platform and an oncoming train in Shizuoka Prefecture, police revealed yesterday.

The accident took place on the evening of July 19 at the Higashi-Shizuoka station on the Tokaido line. The station's installed surveillance cameras showed the boy walking while looking at his smartphone and gradually getting closer to the edge of the platform where he lost his balance as an oncoming train entered the station, hitting him.

The boy fell in the space between the train and the platform, Sankei Shimbun reported, and although attempts to rescue him took place immediately after the incident, he was confirmed dead short after.

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19 Comments
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Train drivers should sound their klaxon on entering stations as the zombie smartphone phenomenon is not likely to disappear anytime soon...

4 ( +11 / -7 )

I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

That's sad. I feel for his family.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Smart phones need a feature which locks the screen if they detect a user is walking. Sick to death of the phone zombies shuffling around all over Tokyo.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

kurisupisu: but.... if someone doesn't notice where they are, and doesn't notice that they're walking towards the edge of the platform, and doesn''t notice the announcements that a train is arriving, and doesn't notice the sound of the train itself.....?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Train drivers should sound their klaxon on entering stations as the zombie smartphone phenomenon is not likely to disappear anytime soon...

Nah, not effective enough. I guess we need barriers. Ruins the look of some of the stations but can't be helped.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

You can bet he was either 1) immersed in an exciting game; or 2) immersed in a chat using LINE. Ergo, brain death caused by his addiction to the odious communications device preceded his physical death. The tragedy might have been avoided if a responsible adult had cautioned him.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Train drivers should sound their klaxon on entering stations as the zombie smartphone phenomenon is not likely to disappear anytime soon...

It wouldn't help. I live within walking distance of several primary and secondary schools. I've watched kids with their eyes glued to their phones literally walk into moving traffic, while motorists were blaring their horns at them, and the kids only looked up when the cars actually stopped next to them, horns still blaring.

3:30 pm here is hell if you're driving and trying to get through, with distracted school-kids wandering along in an iPhone daze, and/or mothers in HUGE 4WDs double- and triple-parked, blocking the roads so that they can pick up their kids.

It's a miracle more children don't suffer serious injury or death every day!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Train drivers should sound their klaxon on entering stations as the zombie smartphone phenomenon is not likely to disappear anytime soon...

From what I see, they usually do sound their klaxon if they see people too close to the edge. If they did it every time, despite nobody being close to the edge, they'd probably get complaints from busybodies that the train drivers were making too much needless noise.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

He was a distracted boy... not the smartphone's fault any more than someone staring at a newspaper or a bankbook, or a good looking guy or gal.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Unfortunately a feature that stops the phone when walking would render finding your way using GPS useless. Not something you want to give up readily when navigating around cities like Tokyo. As with any tool one operates, precautions and warnings regarding personal safety while using it should be part of the packaging.

In addition, the government could demand that mobile phone makers design creative advertising to make phone safety (and maybe manners as well) part of the collective consciousness. Encourage companies to compete to make the ads enjoyable and fun so people can't ignore them like those irritating escalator ear worms. Making phone safety part of schooling along with bicycle and traffic safety would also help.

Poor lad. He made a mistake. One we could all make.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If he was walking, he should have felt the the blindman bumps under his feet as he approached the edge. Weird that he allowed himself to get so close.

I don't even like to stand beyond the bumps when I'm stationary and alert. Crazy people pushing innocent people onto the tracks is always in the back of my mind.

There are also crazy people who deliberately walk into the sumaho users, knocking them down, trying to make some kind of twisted point. I wouldn't be surprised to see that end up with a serious injury or death at some point.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

3:30 pm here is hell if you're driving and trying to get through, with distracted school-kids wandering along in an iPhone daze, and/or mothers in HUGE 4WDs double- and triple-parked, blocking the roads so that they can pick up their kids.

Just like in any populated area of the US.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Cell phones and their apps kill thousands of people every year because of distraction of their surroundings.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How horrible for him and for his family? Have you ever seen what happens to a person when they fall in between a moving train train and the platform? They spin violently as they're dragged down the platform.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

oh my, what a freak accident.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As a driver I am very wary of kids, adults with so called smart phone when they are near a junction or the edge of the pavement, because they are so wrapped up in what they are looking at on there phone, they are just not paying attention to where they are going, unfortunately this article just proves my point. just as an after thought, if some one jumps in front of a train, the family get charged for cleaning, damage etc, will this happen in this case, as he didn't commit suicide, it was an accident.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

just as an after thought, if some one jumps in front of a train, the family get charged for cleaning, damage etc, will this happen in this case, as he didn't commit suicide, it was an accident.

The family is not charged, the estate of the deceased is charged. The estate of a 14 year old boy will not have any ability to pay any charges, so nothing will be paid.

Note that there is even a question as to whether they actually do ever even charge the estate or not, or whether it's just talk.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They do usually sound their klaxon if people are over the yellow line. If you pay close attention though, people hear it, but don't care about it.

That's the problem.

On top of that, the stations have, periodically, on the LED signs, as well as broadcast via the loudspeakers that "walking while using a smartphone is dangerous, so don't do it". Again, how many people actually give a damn?

I repeat, that's the problem.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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