Objective: To evaluate the effect of a bridge safety fence in preventing suicide.
Methods: We examined suicides from jumping off the Memorial Bridge in Augusta, Maine, from 1 April 1960 to 31 July 2005. The safety fence was installed during 1983, the mid-point of the study period.
Results: 14 suicides from the bridge were identified; all occurred before installation of the safety fence. The number of suicides by jumping from other structures remained unchanged after installation of the fence.
Conclusion: The safety fence was effective in preventing suicides from the bridge. There was no evidence that suicidal individuals sought alternative sites for jumping.
- ICD, International Classification of Diseases
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Funding: There was no external funding for this study. The work was conducted by a federal employee with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reviewed and approved the manuscript.
Competing interests: None.
As principal investigator, Dr Pelletier had full access to all the data in the study and had final responsibility for the decision to submit for publication.