Rising number of suicides on train tracks

There were 680 suicides in 2012 – 44 of which took place on Danish train tracks

The number of people who commit suicide by jumping in front of trains has risen significantly according to the government’s traffic agency, Trafikstyrelsen.

Forty-four people died after jumping in front of a train in 2012, compared to 26 the year before. The figures for 2013 have yet to be released.

“These suicides are sad in so many ways – not only for the victim, but also for their families and the train conductor who will never be the same after such an incident,” Morten Thomsen, the chairman of anti-suicide organisation Livslinjen, told metroXpress.

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Action plan needed
With 680 suicides nationwide in 2012, Thomsen is calling for the government to implement an action plan that can bring down the number of self-inflicted deaths.

“The government has used a lot of resources to bring down the number of deaths in traffic, and it has worked. We could only hope that there would be the same focus on preventing suicides. Three and a half times more people die from suicides every year than in traffic,” Thomsen said, adding that there were methods that could reduce the number of impulsive suicides.

“Screening off the tracks at stations and bridges could be the little obstacle that help people stop and think about what they are doing,” Thomsen said.

According to DSB, train drivers can expect to experience one suicide in the course of their career, and the experience is often so disturbing that many do not return to work.

MetroXpress reports that far-left party Enhedslisten wants to find three million kroner a year to fund a national anti-suicide action plan.