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Preventing suicide by jumping: the effect of a bridge safety fence


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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