Railway operator West Japan Railway has installed new automated security cameras at Kyobashi station in Osaka, in a bid to detect drunken passengers.
The cameras have been designed to search for the signs of intoxication and alert station attendants, who will subsequently check if the individual needs assistance, and ensure that the person in question does not fall on the railway tracks.
Some of the signs that the cameras look for include staggering and falling asleep on benches and also remaining on the platform for an extended time without any specific reason.
A West Japan Railway spokesman was quoted by Japan Real Time as saying that around 46 cameras have been installed at the Kyobashi station, which is located close to one of Osaka’s entertainment districts.
Similar systems are expected to be deployed across other Japanese stations in the future, if the current installation proves to be successful.
According to the company, the cameras will only identify at-risk drunken passengers, and will not be used to identify or record people in any way.
The installation of cameras follows a Japanese Government report, which documented around 221 cases of passengers being hit by trains in 2013. Approximately 60% of the passengers were found to be drunk at the time of accident.
Apart from deploying cameras, the company has also reorientated benches on platforms claiming that drunken passengers quickly stood up from them up on arrival of the train, and stumble forward, falling into the tracks or ramming into the train itself.
The spokesman said: "We found that many drunken people walk headlong off the platform and onto the track and that this often happens very quickly. This was a surprising result for us too.
"It’s too early to tell at the moment, but we thought changing the direction may help prevent accidents."
Image: People wait at the Hankyu railway station in Kyoto, Japan. Photo: courtesy of Japanexperterna.se via Wikipedia.