A great thing about living in Tokyo is that trains can take you anywhere, quickly and conveniently.
A bad thing about living in Tokyo is that if you fall off the station platform, a train can kill you.
Those two statements may sound like a pair of eternal truths, but the second one is gradually becoming less true as safety barriers are installed along platforms in more and more stations.
Earlier this year, a good friend of mine was hit by a train in New York. Fortunately, he survived. When I went to visit him, I read in the New York Daily News that the Big Apple was considering installing its own safety barriers. But there was some resistance to the idea, not the least of which came from the Daily News itself.
Resistance to the idea of safety barriers seems unfounded. It reminds me of the resistance that once existed to the idea of wearing seatbelts in cars, and I’m sure that in the future people will look back on it as being just as silly.
I made the video at the top of this post in an effort to shed some light on the issue. I start by visiting the sites of a few notable accidents in Tokyo, and then demonstrate how the safety barriers operate.
Production note: A couple of scenes shot at train stations include background noise, so I added subtitles. In future efforts, I’ll either look for quieter spots or buy a quality microphone.