Blue Lighting Could Reduce Suicides At Train Stations, Petitioner Claims

Bob Roberts
June 20, 2018 - 3:29 pm
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Thousands of people have signed onto a Chicago woman’s petition drive asking the CTA and Metra to install blue lighting at their stations in an attempt to reduce suicides.

But there's a problem: The statistics purported by the  petitioner, identified only as Kelsey B., don't exist.

She claims a Japanese study showed an 84 percent drop in suicides once blue shaded lights were installed. The hoax-debunking website Snopes.com says this is a recurrent but unproven story that actually can be traced back to Glasgow, Scotland, more than a decade ago.

Nonetheless, when she reached her goal of 16,000 signatures late afternoon Wednesday, Kelsey increased the goal for her Care2 petition to 17,000.

She writes that suicides here are up, and public posting of prevention hotlines alone has not helped. 

Metra is in the process of installing such signs at its stations. A spokesperson for the commuter rail agency said Metra is eager to try any suicide prevention effort that is grounded in science.

The blue lights, however, are not, the spokesperson said.