7.14 California : Caltrain suicides difficult for agency to prevent, but measures under way, The San Francisco Examiner, Mar. 20, 2011
The effectiveness of railway suicide prevention efforts can be difficult to measure, as this article about suicide prevention efforts along Caltrain tracks in California illustrates. In 2009, the railway company stepped up suicide prevention efforts in response to 15 suicide deaths that occurred along the tracks. Caltrain installed barriers at crosswalks, increased police enforcement, and installed hundreds of new signs which include a crisis line phone number. Deaths along the tracks have fallen since then, but because the number of deaths fluctuates unpredictably from year to year, “we really have no way of judging if our efforts were effective or not,” said Caltrain spokesperson Christine Dunn. It is also difficult to compare the Caltrain data to state and national statistics, since state and national counts of people who die along the tracks exclude those who die by suicide. (Beginning June 1, the Federal Railroad Administration will require suicides to be reported and included in its database.)
Read the article at www.sfexaminer.com.