Metro Asks Public to Help Stop ‘Suicide by Train’

By City News Service

With three people already committing suicide this year along the Metro Blue Line, transit and sheriff’s officials today appealed to the public for help halting the practice by remaining vigilant and watching for pedestrians on the tracks.

“Light-rail trains operate at grade in urban areas throughout the world without the prevalence of suicide we’re experiencing on the Metro Blue Line,” Metro board chair Diane DuBois said. “I’m very concerned about this and am appealing to the public to help Metro reverse the trend.”

“We continue to invest in safety improvements (coupled) with education and enforcement of safety laws,” she said. “And while our rail safety ambassadors and operators have thwarted some suicide attempts, we can’t stop them all.”

According to Metro, 14 “safety ambassadors” are stationed at seven locations along the 22-mile Blue Line, which stretches from downtown Los Angeles to Long Beach. The ambassadors are on duty from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday to answer questions, warn people not to walk or drive in the path of an oncoming train and to keep an eye out for potential suicide victims.

The ambassadors have stopped at least three suicide attempts on the line, according to Metro.

Metro has also posted signs at rail stations providing the number for the Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center’s crisis line – (877) 727-4747.

Sheriff’s officials conducted stepped-up enforcement today around the Blue Line’s Willowbrook station to crack down on pedestrians and motorists who ignore safety signs or trespass on the tracks.

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September 26, 2013  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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