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These Surveillance Cameras Can Tell When You're Drunk

46 new cameras have been installed this week in the Kyobashi station in Osaka, and here’s the catch: they’re programmed to automatically scan passengers for signs of intoxication and alert attendants if necessary.

by Javier Cabral
Aug 13 2015, 9:00pm

Photo via Flickr user Andy 

Aside from the occasional 12-pack-fueled game of Mario Kart, drinking and driving is not that much fun.

And while taking public transportation home is always a better decision when you're royally tanked with the homies on a Friday night, it is apparently very easy to die that way, too—especially in public-transit-dominated countries like Japan. Those fuzzy lights that appear so far away in your drunken stupor could be a speeding train propelling towards you at 366 miles per hour.

READ: This Italian Governor Just Made It Practically Legal to Drive While Wasted

Fortunately, technology has our backs against Darwin in this one: 46 new cameras have been installed this week, in the Kyobashi station in Osaka, and here's the catch: they're programmed to automatically scan passengers for signs of intoxication and alert attendants if necessary. It's all part of West Japan Railway's efforts to prevent accidents, according to the Wall Street Journal.

What exactly does drunken behavior look like to these Skynet-like cameras?

A West Japan Railway spokesperson cites examples such as "remaining on the platform for an extended time for no apparent reason, and sleeping on benches." Also, many drunken would-be passengers often remain almost motionless for a long time before trotting quickly toward the tracks when a train is approaching. Though, with cameras or without, you can easily prevent any bodily harm—drunk or sober—if you follow the warnings found on most subway platforms around the world: Never run towards a moving train.

However, this is no laughing matter: The report goes on to mention that 221 cases of passengers hit by trains has been recorded since April 2013. And of those victims, a whopping 60 percent were found to be drunk at the time.

For the time being, this cutting-edge, anti-drunk-gruesome-train-death camera system is only being operated in Osaka's Kyobashi station, but if successful, the company will consider installing similar systems at other stations in the future.

As for any concerned scumbags who are afraid that this new safety surveillance measure will out them in a TMZ-like fashion with a recording of you and your sancho or side chick, or is a sign of a Minority Report-like future, fear not—the West Japan Railway has confirmed that the system will not be used to identify people in any way.