Suicide prevention measures cut railway deaths by 70 a year

Photo: Silver Spoon via Wikimedia Commons

Dutch railway company ProRail says measures taken to stop people jumping under trains at notorious black spots have cut the number of railway suicides by some 70 a year.

ProRail has been introducing special measures at 25 sites since 2012, including fences and strong lighting which goes on if someone walks close to the track. Some places also have cameras and posters informing people where they can turn for help.

‘Research shows suicides mainly take place at dusk or at night,’ ProRail spokeswoman Angela van der Veer told broadcaster NOS. ‘Lights that go on if someone walks along the track in the dark can bring them out of their reverie.’

The approach has led to a reduction in suicides at the chosen locations of 30% to 40%, NOS said. Nationwide the trend is upwards and some 200 people kill themselves on the railways every year.

The Dutch state has now agreed to invest a further €14m in other prevention measures, including more cameras with sensors that react to unusual movements.

How a day trip to Amsterdam turned into a confrontation with death

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation