Booze watch: CCTV in Japan detects drunk people on train platforms, alerts staff

© Yuya Shino
A city in Japan has introduced surveillance cameras which can detect whether a person standing on a platform has had a few too many drinks. The tools scan for staggering movements and typical “drunk behavior,” such as lying down.

In addition to wobbly walking, the 46 cameras in Osaka watch out for people who have stood on the platform for an extended period of time without boarding any trains.

Drunken passengers quite often remain motionless for a long time before quickly heading toward a train or tracks, a West Japan Railways spokesperson told Japan Real Time.

The cameras, which are currently only installed at Kyobashi station, will alert station staff once they detect a drunk person, so they can intervene if necessary.

The system was introduced after a spate of hundreds of deaths on the rail network. A total of 221 passengers were killed by trains in April 2014, many of whom were hit because they got too close to the edge of the platform, or fell onto the tracks. Of those killed, 60 percent were later found to be drunk at the time of death.

If the cameras are successful, they could soon be introduced throughout the entire rail network.

Addressing privacy concerns, the network said the system will not be used to identify or record passengers.