Rail operator ProRail wants to rein in suicide by train

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ProRail, the Dutch railway network operator, wants to diminish the number of suicides committed by people jumping in front of a moving train. The organisation aims at a reduction of 5% over the next four years. Currently, 200 people kill themselves by jumping in front of a moving train, which is 12% of the total number of suicides, the highest ratio in the region.

According to ProRail, about half of all suicides are committed by people who are undergoing psychiatric care. The network operator has already experimented by placing gates near psychiatric hospitals and by turning level crossings into viaducts.

The current policy of the Dutch Association for Psychiatry (NVvP) is to advise its members to send the suicidal out into the street. This policy is much to the dismay of the Union for Train Drivers and Conductors (VVMC) who point out that people jumping in front of moving trains are very traumatic experiences for their members.

(Photo by Jason Rogers, some rights reserved)

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