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Preventing suicide by jumping: the effect of a bridge safety fence
  1. Andrew R Pelletier
  1. Division of State and Local Readiness, Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr A R Pelletier
 11 State House Station, Key Bank Building, 8th Floor, 286 Water Street, Augusta, ME 04333-0011, USA; arp1{at}


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.