Officials in Seoul have installed anti-suicide devices on bridges in an attempt to curb the increasing suicide rate in South Korea.
The system incorporates closed-circuit television cameras programmed to detect motions that suggest a person might jump from the bridge and automatically alarms emergency services and counselors to the area within three minutes, reports AFP.
“The new system has been put in place on two bridges,” a city official in charge of the project told AFP. “We will expand the system to the other Han River bridges if testing until March proves effective”.
Last year, 196 people jumped to their deaths, mostly from the Map0 Bridge over the city’s Han River, prompting government officials to post signs with comforting messages, such as “The best part of your life is yet to come” and “Worries are nothing” along with a statue of a man comforting a worried-looking younger man.
South Korea has the highest suicide rate among leading developing nations, with an average of 33.5 people per 100,000 taking their lives in 2010, fueled by intense pressure for academic and career success.