Mirror, Mirror hanging on the wall…

In light of another suicide on Clementi train tracks yesterday, maybe this newspaper article (dating a while back) will help the guys over at the SMRT to deter like-minded people.

Thursday, May 11, 2000


Tokyo, AFP

Japanese officials plan to put up big mirrors on railway platforms to stop suicidal passengers leaping on to the tracks, East Japan Railway said yesterday. The idea is that people see their reflections in the mirrors and think again, said the railway company which carries a world-record 16 million passengers a day.

“We have been consulting with a number of psychiatrists on how to reduce the number of suicides,” said East Japan Railway (JR East) spokesman Masahiko Horiuchi. “When they see their own reflections in the mirror they come to their senses and this may help us deter suicides.”

To test the theory, the railway will put up one mirror at Tokyo‘s central Shinjuku station, which handles on average 756,000 passengers a day, and another in western Tokyo‘s Ogikubo station, he said.

The 1.5-by-2.0 metre mirrors will be placed on the opposite side of the tracks in the most popular spot for suicides.

There were 212 suicides at JR East railway stations in the past fiscal year.

“A suicide delays train schedules and it usually takes us 50 minutes to restore the schedules,” said Mr. Horiuchi. “In one incident, it took us three hours to restore train schedules as we searched for a missing head.”



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