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Japan’s Subways Now Have Drunk-Spotting Cameras

A pilot program seeks to save drunken passengers from the dangers of busy train tracks

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smithsonian.com

In many crowded urban environments, public transportation is the norm — and where there’s public transportation, there’s bound to be a few passengers who have had a few too many. Now, reports The Wall Street Journal, a subway station in Osaka, Japan has installed special drunk-spotting cameras in an effort to improve subway safety.

46 cameras have been installed by West Japan Railway to “automatically search for signs of intoxication and alert attendants if necessary,” reports the WSJ. Signs of drunkenness include sleeping on benches, staggering and hanging around the platform.

The effort to spot drunk subway passengers in the station is aimed at keeping the stumblers safe, the WSJ writes: In 2013, which saw 221 incidents of waiting passengers being hit by oncoming subway trains, 60 percent were drunk.

Efforts to ensure the safety of inebriated passengers aren’t new for West Japan Railway — earlier this year, the company rotated benches in subway stations away from tracks in the hopes of preventing even more drunken accidents.

(h/t mental_floss)

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