Turning Streets Blue Could Save Lives

Could it really be that simple? New studies say 'yes'.

Blue lights, suicide prevention, crime

You can start bidding your farewells to red light districts around the world, because now it's out with the old, in with the blue.

Using blue to illuminate streets has shown to decrease crime and suicide rates in the specific areas where the blue lights are lit.

Could this be the answer cities ravaged by crime have been looking for all along? Or could this have been the way to prevent suicides?

The first time blue illuminations were implemented were in Glasgow, Scotland, 2000. Initially, it was just to improve the city's esthetics and nothing else. That's when suddenly statistics showed that crime greatly decreased in the areas that were illuminated.

So, several cities decided to hop on the bandwagon, and see what blue would do for not only their own landscapes, but for crime, too.

Japan was one of the next countries to try it. The Nara prefecture set up the blue illumination lights in 2005, and crime fell 9%.

Later, a railway company in Yokohama Japan tried changing some of their lights to blue lights. Suicide attempts have gone down 100% since February.

So, what's the secret? Why and how could blue lights be the answer?

Many studies have been done with colors. Usually the studies are done in advertising industries, to see which colors will be better to bring in customers by looking at how certain colors affect the human psychology.

One theory is that blue is one of the colors that tends to relax people. When walking by blue lights, you just get the feeling that everything is calm.

Another is that blue is commonly associated with police, so when people see blue, their first instinct is that there is a police presence nearby.

And lastly, although blue is a pleasant and warm color, the idea of blue lights is just a bit strange. Think about it...if you suddenly saw blue lights after walking outside in daylight, or if a once creepy alleyway now had blue lights lining the street, you might think it was a bit weird. Weird, but in a way that makes people cautious. When more people are cautious of their surroundings, less crimes happen.

So, within the next few years, maybe we will see more cities implementing the blue lights, and perhaps crime and suicide rates will greatly decrease across the globe.

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