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As a suicide prevention initiative, this sign on the Golden Gate Bridge promotes a special telephone that connects to a crisis hotline.

This article is about bridges used to commit suicide. For Suicide Bridge in London, see A1 road (London).

A suicide bridge is a bridge used frequently to commit suicide, most typically by jumping off and into the water below (because a fall from that height into the water is almost inevitably fatal).

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco has had more suicides than any other in the world,[1] the number currently being over 1,200.[1] In 2005, documentary filmmaker Eric Steel set off controversy by revealing that he had tricked the bridge committee into allowing him to film the Golden Gate for months, and had captured 23 suicides on film for his documentary The Bridge. In March 2005, San Francisco supervisor Tom Ammiano proposed funding a study on erecting a suicide barrier on the bridge.[2]

In Seattle, Washington, more than 230 people have committed suicide from the George Washington Memorial Bridge, making it the second deadliest suicide bridge in the United States.[3][4] In the last decade, nearly 50 people jumped to their deaths, nine in 2006.[5] Seattle FRIENDS, a nonprofit group dedicated to eliminating suicides from the bridge, is petitioning city and state officials to install a suicide barrier on the bridge.

File:Suicide hotline sign on GW Memorial Bridge 4.jpg

Suicide hotline on the George Washington Memorial Bridge, Seattle, Washington.

The San Diego-Coronado Bridge is the third deadliest suicide bridge in the U.S., followed by the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in St. Petersburg, Florida.[6]

The Cold Spring Canyon Bridge in Santa Barbara County has seen 54 jumps by suicide since opening in 1964,[7] including 7 in 2009. A proposal[8] to install a barrier on this bridge has brought intense debate.[9][10]

About 300 people have jumped to their death from the Nusle Bridge, in Prague, Czech Republic.[11] Barriers almost 3 meters high were erected here in 1997 with aim to prevent further jumps.[12] In 2007, the fencing was topped off with a Template:Convert/ft of polished metal to make it impossible to climb.[13]

76 people have jumped to their death from the Van Stadens Bridge, near Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa.[14]

A notable suicide bridge in London is the Hornsey Lane Bridge,[15] which passes over Archway Road and connects the Highgate and Crouch End areas. The bridge provides views of notable landmarks such as St Paul's Cathedral and The Gherkin.

To reach such locations, those with the intention to commit suicide must often walk long distances to reach the point where they finally decide to jump. For example, some jumpers have traveled over the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge by automobile to reach the Golden Gate.[16]

Suicide prevention advocates believe that suicide by bridge is more likely to be impulsive than other means, and that barriers can have a significant effect on reducing the incidence of suicides by bridge.[17] One study showed that installing barriers on the Duke Ellington Bridge in Washington, D.C. – which has a high incidence of suicide[16] – did not cause an increase of suicides at the nearby Taft Bridge.[18] Families of victims and groups that help the mentally ill have lobbied governments to erect similar barriers. One such barrier is the Luminous Veil on the Prince Edward Viaduct in Toronto, Ontario, once considered the world's second most deadly bridge with over 400 jumps on record.[19] The Sydney Harbour Bridge, The West Gate Bridge in Melbourne, the Jacques Cartier Bridge in Montreal, Quebec and the Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena, California have also seen barriers erected.

Special telephones with connections to crisis hotlines are sometimes installed on bridges.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Lethal Beauty", San Francisco Chronicle "The Golden Gate Bridge is the world's No. 1 suicide magnet"
  3. Jumpers Take It to the Bridge. The Stranger. April 13, 2000
  4. The Online Encyclopedia of Washington State.
  5. ‘Suicide bridge’ hurts workers’ mental health. January 26, 2007.
  6. Tampabay: Bridge phones offer a new lifeline
  7. "Fatal Attraction - Cold Spring Toll Hits (54)". edhat. 2009-10-27. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
  8. Caltrans EIR
  9. Friends of the Bridge
  10. Stop the Tragedy
  11. "Pod Nuselským mostem bude pietní socha připomínající sebevraždy". 2010-09-23. Retrieved 2010-09-23.
  12. "Nuselský most je hůře dostupný sebevrahům". Prague. 2007-08-15. Retrieved 2010-09-23.
  13. "New Railing on the 'Suicide Bridge' Can't Be Climbed Over". A/B/C Prague. 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2010-09-23.
  14. "Another Van Staden's suicide". News24. 2008-08-16.,,2-7-1442_2341592,00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-13.
  15. Hansard. 1971.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Jumpers: The Fatal Grandeur of Golden Gate Bridge, The New Yorker, October 13, 2003 p. 48
  17. Draper. 2008.
  18. Krauss, Clifford (2003-02-18). "Toronto Journal; A Veil of Deterrence for a Bridge With a Dark Side". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
  19. Krauss, Clifford (2003-02-16). "A Veil of Deterrence for a Bridge With a Dark Side". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-27.

External links

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