Seoul Puts Anti-suicide System on City Bridges

seoul-korea-anti-suicide-devicesSeoul Puts Anti-suicide System on City Bridges -- For a country with the leading rate of suicide, perhaps this urban system installed in the key infrastructures is just right and called for. News have it that South Korean capital Seoul has installed closed-circuit television cameras or CCTVs on bridges over Han river to act as suicide monitoring devices. The initiative came up after 196 people jumped to die last year.

The anti-suicide cameras are programmed to detect movements or motions that suggest that somebody could be committing a suicide jump. Once detection is positive, an alarm will sound to call for the attention of the emergency services, as well as counselors for dispatch, in three (3) minutes.

A city official said:
The new system has been put in place on two bridges
We will expand the system to the other Han River bridges if testing until March proves effective.
The initial locations of the cameras is the Mapo Bridge, a known hot spot by about 90% of the above-mentioned 196 people who committed suicide. Further on the move to address the issue, the municipal government of Seoul directed to post signs along the Mapo Bridge in September, with messages: "The best part of your life is yet to come" and "Worries are nothing".

Also in the middle of the bridge, there is a statue of an old man comforting a worried-looking young man; The former's arm placed on the latter's shoulders.
Korea is exhibiting a very rapid economic progress. It raised its people's standard of living, alongside pressures on academic and career achievement. According to the latest data, Korea is leading the world's list of countries with high suicide rate. It has an average of 33.5 people per 100,000 taking suicide in 2010. It is higher than Hungary and Japan with 23.3 and 21.2 rates respectively.

Korea's above-mentioned data on suicide rate means that there are about 50 people bound to commit suicide per day.

I do think that putting up those protective monitoring devices in strategic places are must to at least ensure that any possible suicide attempt maybe attended if not totally prevented. This initiative brought me back to my old standing tens of floors research building in Tsukuba, Japan; Its top floor is completely covered with safety nets in order to prevent people from climbing up and thereby execute the undesirable thought of committing a suicide. When I first saw the nets, I was like "what's up with these nets up here?" Then my laboratory mates informed me what was really the purpose.

1 comment:

  1. Finally! I've been reading so many news about Koreans committing suicide and it's good to put this act to stop.