tech

Train platform door tech promotes safety

10 Comments

Japan’s suicide problem is much talked about, both within the country’s borders and without, with a shocking number of people each year choosing to end their lives by jumping in front of a train. Less talked about are all the other deadly and injurious accidents that take place on train platforms in Japan on a semi-regular basis.

Recently, Japanese rail companies have been experimenting with platform barrier doors to prevent both suicides and other grievous accidents, and most of these inevitably end up looking like something out of Star Trek or a 1990s first-person shooter before technology allowed swinging door animations.

Warning signs abound at many train stations to pay attention to the bumpy yellow line that marks safe distance from passing and stopping trains, and to refrain from certain activities near that line, such as punching out text messages, playing handheld games and, of course, drunkenly weaving – which, let’s face it, is liable to end in an accident even when you’re just crossing the room to use the toilet.

Sadly, when your eyes are glued to Flappy Bird or you’re so drunk that you’re not even sure if your eyes are still in your head, accidents still happen, so rail companies are taking steps to make stations safer places to be, and of course to reduce instances of suicide.

The following video shows some of the experimental tech set up at certain train stops.

Source: Yahoo! Japan

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- 42 reasons why we love riding the rails in Japan -- New Rising Barrier System for Japan’s Stations -- An Illustrated Guide to the 12 Creatures That Haunt the Crowded Trains of Tokyo

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10 Comments
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These will help prevent drunks, gamers, and texters from falling onto the tracks. But, sadly, won't stop people bent on suicide.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"...or you’re so drunk that you’re not even sure if your eyes are still in your head,". Quite the turn of phrase! :-)

At Ryogoku station I recently saw a perfectly alert man misplace his step and fall up to his hips straight down in the harmless-appearing gap. He pulled himself up and boarded as if nothing had happened.

Haven't seen the falling and rising curtains of wires, but it seems like it might help the distracted and drunk.

Personally, I prefer the unadorned train tracks for their open beauty.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yeah its a shame it is coming to this. These bars look fugly. I prefer the safety glass tube they have in the UK.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Or the completely enclosed platform like on the "Seaside Line" in Yokohama.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The one incident that I have observed in Tokyo, and which these barriers don't allow for, is when a women gets part of her dress caught in a closing train door and then she runs down the platform with the train trying to free it. God knows how the "artificial intelligence" in these gate systems is going to cope with that one.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's sad and pathetic that companies have to spend so much money resources to stop train jumpers from using public transportation to die. Just a note: if you really really want to die, do it quietly and don't involve anyone else.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I'm with Mirai. Society should be addressing why so many people jump in front of trains instead of ways to stop them.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

But most of the people wanting to die, do it because they never got the attention in live they craved...so in there mind this is a great way to die.

Not at all, I would be worried about kids standing on the platform having to witness such an act of self destruction.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Most stations still don't have such a safe gate because of money problem, but these bars seem to be inexpensive and easier to be put on the platforms. I just wonder how many train stations in Tokyo?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Additionally, not desiring to jump on the tracks helps safety. What mental health initiatives has JR been a part of?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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