PALO ALTO (CBS SF) – About 70 percent of teen suicides on the Caltrain tracks since 2009 have taken place in Palo Alto. Parents and students are hoping sophisticated cameras will prevent future tragedies.
“There is a sense of urgency in our community about making these improvements as quickly as we can,” Palo Alto spokesperson Claudia Keith said.
The cameras would be able to see farther than a human eye and would alert police the moment someone steps on the tracks.
“It might provide better visibility and perhaps, depending on how the technology works, just a little more time to notify all the personnel needed to stop the train or get that person off the tracks,” Keith said.
Guards have been patrolling crossings in Palo Alto for years, but the city and Caltrain are looking to do more. The city has worked closely with the school district to put an end to what the district calls a public health crisis.
Forty students at Palo Alto High School and Gunn High School have been hospitalized for suicidal thoughts in just the past year and a half. Just this week, the school board voted to hire two full-time mental health therapists right away.