Blind Braille Disability Japan Travel

Keisei Electric Railway alters Braille block after ‘white cane’ using woman fell to her death

“A railway company renovated a Braille block, in response to an accident in which a visually impaired woman fell and died at a station...The Keisei Electric Railway said, “We will continue to work on safety measures in response to this painful accident.” ”

Written with extracts from NHK

October 18th 2019

The Keisei Electric Railway company renovated a Braille block, in response to an accident in which a visually impaired woman fell and died at a station in Katsushika-ku, Tokyo.

On October 1st, Kiyoko Akiya (66), a visually impaired woman who lived in Arakawa Ward, carrying a white cane was hit by a train and killed at Tateishi Station on the Keisei Oshiage Line at around 10:30 in the morning.

According to the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD)’s Katsushika Police Station, Akiya was captured on security video going through the ticket gate at the station in Tokyo’s Katsushika Ward. She was then seen tottering at the edge of the No. 2 platform before falling on the tracks. She appeared to have been hit by a train entering the station just as she was attempting to get back up onto the platform.

On October 18th, the Keisei Electric Railway decided to renovate the Braille blocks of the station at the site of the accident with an integrated one, in response to requests from the Tokyo Metropolitan Blind Welfare Association.

A straight Braille block along the protruding block was added last year, now this ‘straight block’ has been raised from 3 mm to 4 mm higher, in accordance with the requests for improvement from The Tokyo Metropolitan Blind Welfare Association.

There are still older standard Braille blocks that are difficult for visually impaired people to recognize and use. The Keisei Electric Railway will renovate such blocks within the fiscal year at Keisei Sekiya Station in Adachi-ku, which have been found to have the same problem, as well as on-site at Keisei-Seki Station. The Keisei Electric Railway will also check for such ‘older’ blocks at other stations.

The Keisei Electric Railway said, “We will continue to work on safety measures in response to this painful accident.”

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